Barn Time is a Stress Reliever, Especially During Times of Uncertainty

When a pandemic limits or prohibits clients from stopping by it’s still possible to keep clients connected and progressing in their training. When New York state restricted boarders’ access to stables, CHA Regional Director and Certifier Valerie McCloskey from Rome, New York got creative. Here she shares how she’s staying connected with clients at her Whisper Wind Equestrian Centre facility when they can’t be there in-person.

Groundwork Mondays
McCloskey requires boarders to take one lesson a week. When her state’s emergency response plan prohibited visitors, she knew the horses needed to stay in shape. In addition to riding the horses for clients, she introduced “Groundwork Mondays.”

“We take five second video clips of the horses in groundwork sessions and send it to each owner with a little feedback report,” she says. “It lets everybody know how their horse did and gives them a chance to see their horse.”

Virtual lessons
Teaching on digital platforms isn’t a new concept. Skype, GoogleHangouts, FaceTime and other platforms make it convenient for off-site, real-time coaching sessions.

“The rider wears a blue tooth device to hear me, while someone on the ground videos them,” says McCloskey.

If a live coaching session isn’t an option, clients submit a video for review. She watches and provides feedback by phone or email.

Social media
Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat and messenger services make it easier than ever to stay in touch. McCloskey put the stable’s private Facebook group to use adding daily updates and snapshots of the day’s activities.

“We opened the stall doors, let the horses stick their heads out for treats and posted it to our private page so that everyone at least gets to see their horse,” she says.

Pursue projects
Slower schedules means there is time to start a new project. McCloskey always wanted to offer instructional videos on a YouTube channel, but never found the time.

“It was something I always wanted to do. If all goes as planned, I’ll be posting new videos once a week,” she says.

Moving forward
Sticking to a normal routine and doing daily chores helps. “Put your head down, put your tail to the wind and trudge on through and try to keep things as normal as possible and know you’re not alone,” McCloskey says.

Marketing Your Equine Business in Today’s Digital World

By Sarah Evers Conrad

We all know that horse business owners are some of the most passionate business people out there. However, just having passion for what you do won’t pay the bills. It’s all about working smart and hard, and working smart involves your marketing strategy. Marketing is crucial for businesses. With the explosion of technological advances over the past 15 years, digital marketing has become an essential way to market, and makes a great additive to your marketing plan. Traditional marketing techniques such as direct mail and TV and radio advertising can be much more expensive than today’s digital marketing techniques, such as email marketing, social media, and content marketing. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best digital marketing methods to market your equine business, what makes them a great option, and why you can’t afford to not be using them.

Digital marketing can help get you found by new customers, grow your online presence, increase your reach within your niche, connect you with your target audience, educate your customers and potential customers, promote a specific product or service, gain more leads that you can convert to customers, raise your brand awareness, build your reputation as an expert, and/or help you understand your target audience and their wants and needs. However, it’s important to not try to do all of this at once. Instead, carefully choose a few of the goals above, work in phases, and as you accomplish goals, add on additional strategies.

Integrate for Increased Impact

One of the biggest keys to digital marketing is integrating various forms so they can work together to create a bigger impact. For instance, driving traffic to your website through social media and asking for site visitors to sign-up for your email list should put them into a sales funnel, which then lets you build the “Know, Like, and Trust Factor” with your audience using content marketing. During all of this, you can offer your products and services, which then converts your original web leads into customers.

Why is this important in the horse industry? Sales is a process, and research has shown that it can take between three and 12, or more, touches before a sale is made. Obviously if it is a more impulsive buy, you might make a sale in one or two touch-points if the customer already knows, likes, and trusts you. However, in the equine industry, we all know that riding lessons, camp programs, tack and equipment, and especially the horses themselves, would not be considered impulse purchases. Therefore you need to reach out in different ways to your potential customers and focus on relationship building.

The marketing techniques you choose will depend on the phase of business you are in (start-up, growth, or established business), your target audience, and your brand. For instance, start-ups should first start with creating a website and building an email list while a business in the growth phase may be growing their social media presence, while an established business will have already established their online presence with plenty of online content and be seen as a leader in their industry.

Methods of Digital Marketing

The Big Four that all businesses should establish first are:

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing

These four methods integrate well with each other. Once these are set up and running smoothly, you can advance into other areas of digital marketing. Let’s look at the first three to establish.

Websites: While people may hear about your business through word-of-mouth, it’s very likely that they will then turn to the Internet to learn more about you. Your website lets you get found, especially when you make sure to share the link as much as possible. For instance, if you are a CHA certified instructor or a CHA accredited facility, your listing in CHA’s database at CHAInstructors.com can help drive people to your website, but only if you have one and add the link. This gives you an edge over your competitors when someone does a search for riding instructors in your area. These potential customers can then visit your site and learn more about you, see your products and services, learn what makes your business special, and why they should work with you. If your website has all the elements it should and has well-written content, then a potential customer may then call to book a tour of your facility or their first riding lesson or they may at least sign up for your email list, if you have established an email subscription page, which is advisable even if you don’t use email marketing for a little while. Email addresses are seen as extremely valuable for marketing.

If you have the ability to build your own site, you can build one on a purchased domain with WordPress.org or try sites that offer drag-and-drop design. However, if those are too difficult, or you need a more complex website, then a website designer is well worth the investment.

It is crucial to have an attractive site, with useful content for the viewer, and one that functions perfectly, because if you have the opposite you could affect how the public views your business and its level of professionalism and trust. Your website offers potential customers their first impression of you and your business. There is a lot to understand about proper website design and web usability, including site structure, navigation methods, typography, color theory, design principals, user testing, social media integration, and more.

Content Marketing: Whether you write articles and press releases, blog, live stream, create videos, share photography, write articles, podcast, create webinars, or another form of content, you should produce useful, relevant, easy-to-consume, quality content. Effective search engine optimization and using call-to-actions correctly can help direct the readers through the process of a search online to becoming a lead or a customer. Content marketing also grows your online presence, educates potential and current customers, promotes your products and services, raises brand awareness, and portrays you as an expert while setting you and your business apart from your competitors.

As with having a well-done website, quality content gives your audience a look into what and how you do what you do and most importantly why you do what you do and what you believe in. One word of caution is that poorly developed, rushed content can look bad, so make sure to have staff, friends, or professional content producers give feedback and help if need be.

Social Media: If your business isn’t on social media, especially Facebook at this time, consider yourself at a serious disadvantage. You must go where your customers are, and right now it seems as if everyone is on social media. Other platforms include Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn, with Snapchat and Periscope becoming two of the hottest newer platforms. Each platform has its advantages, disadvantages and top strategies to get the most out of it. Regardless of platform, it is essential to be authentically you, transparent, and to want to connect, communicate, and engage with your audience. It can even serve as a way to provide customer service, craft your online image, and promote yourself (organically and through social media advertising). There is a lot to consider for social media, especially with so much variety in platforms and strategy, and it is impossible to use all of them on your own. If you are a total social media newbie, there are plenty of books, websites, and resources, as well as consultants who can help you get started and develop a strategy. The return on investment is usually a positive one with social media when done right.

All of these digital marketing methods should be considered important for your marketing efforts. Now is the time to leverage digital marketing to help you get seen, get heard, and become more profitable.

Author Bio: As a lifelong equestrian, Sarah Evers Conrad joined the equine publishing industry 15+ years ago. In 2014, she decided to combine her passion for horses and her experience in writing, editing, digital marketing, PR, and social media, when she founded All In Stride Marketing. She now helps equine businesses with their marketing and communications efforts. In addition to being published in a variety of magazines, she is now the editor of The Instructor magazine and the official blogger for CHA.

WHY Statement – This is more than your mission or purpose for your business—this is WHY you bother doing it! Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why is a good resource that the CHA Board of Directors used to come up with CHA’s WHY Statement last year. Some great examples of WHY statements include:

  • CHA – CHA Changes Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses
  • Uber – Evolving the Way the World Moves
  • Nike – Just Do It!
  • Harley Davidson – Fulfilling Dreams of Personal Freedom
  • Coca-Cola – To Refresh the World

You can use any combination of the following digital marketing techniques: a website, social media and social media advertising; online advertising (pay-per-click, display, and remarketing); videos; live streaming; podcasting; webinars; email marketing with opt-in offers and landing pages; online challenges and contests; and content marketing, which includes blogging, guest blogging, press releases, articles, e-books, white papers, and more.

The Art of Teaching Riding

CHA’s latest manual, The Equine Professional Manual—The Art of Teaching Riding, was written by a committee of experienced riding instructors and educators. The following is an abridged except from various sections in the manual.

Classifying or Grouping Riders

Grouping riding students according to experience level and ability is the preferable way to organize groups. There will be some variation within each riding group.

  • It is more difficult to teach a group that has both beginners and advanced riders.
  • When dealing with groups of mixed ability, use the assistant instructors to give more individual attention.
  • Advanced riders may also be challenged by the horses that the advanced riders are assigned to ride.

Riding instructors need to take into consideration age, attitude, and the physical abilities of the riders when grouping riders.

  • Older teenagers or adults may be embarrassed if they are placed in a class of younger children.
  • Physical abilities would include how athletic the rider is and any special needs. Riders who are overweight, awkward, uncoordinated, or have other special needs require particular consideration.

Instructors need to keep in mind the purpose of the lesson as well as the riding abilities when grouping riders.

  • If the purpose is for families to enjoy a lesson together, then a mixture of ages, experience, and attitudes should be expected and accommodated.
  • Questioning the student may approximate riding ability, but a more accurate determination of the student’s riding ability would include a brief evaluation ride.
  • When giving evaluation rides, it is more desirable to under-mount the new riders than to over-mount them. Use very quiet, reliable horses and evaluate the rider’s position, stopping, and simple control of the horse.
  • Preset standards will help determine which group a student belongs in.
  • A novice class of riders may have never ridden before; a beginner class may be able to walk and trot; and an intermediate class may be capable of walk, trot, and canter.
  • The CHA Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 may be used to divide riders into riding groups.
  • The instructor might consider creating an evaluation checklist of skills and mark off each skill as the student rides in an evaluation ride.

Methods of Presentation

To communicate information, the method chosen may depend on the material being presented, students being taught, and environment and resources that are available. It is best to use more than one method; some people understand and respond to one method better than another.

Explanation: An explanation tells the rider how to do something, such as how to hold the reins or how to find the takeoff point for a jump.

  • Explanations must be clear, short, to the point, and with key phrases to remember.
  • Make explanations positive.
  • Tell how to do something, instead of how not to do something.

Demonstration: Demonstrations show how to do something, such as mounting or use of a curry comb, and should be brief and to the point.

Practice or Repetition: Physical skills require practice in order to develop strength, flexibility, and motor patterns. Students need repetition and practice to learn a new skill or to improve on a learned skill.

Correction: Correction leads to mastery of a skill. Anyone learning a new skill is bound to make some errors, and the individuals must rectify those errors to correctly and safely master the skill.

  • Be positive and supportive in correction. Show the students why it is easier and better to use the correct technique and how an incorrect technique will handicap the student. (For instance, have riders try balancing in two-point position with their heels down and then try balancing up on their toes; riders can feel the insecurity balancing on their toes).
  • Be very specific in telling students exactly how to correct their errors. It is not enough to say, “Get those legs in.” The students must be shown how.

Discussion: Discussion combines input from the instructor with input from the students. In order to have a discussion on a topic, everyone must have at least some knowledge of the subject.

  • The instructor’s role is that of leader and moderator; to clarify and summarize the main points of the discussion; and to redirect the conversation if the students wander off the topic.
  • It is useful in planning group projects and for topics on which many people have opinions, such as horse behavior and training.
  • When holding a discussion, try to place all students in a circle so the students can see and hear each other.
  • All students should be motivated to contribute to the conversation, and those who dominate the conversation must be reminded that others have something of worth to contribute. This method enhances communication skills and helps members of the group become acquainted and relate to each other.

Lecture: Lecture is best used for introducing a new topic and giving out background information, like safety rules. Lectures are often used in unmounted lessons. A lecture should be no longer than thirty minutes, and even shorter for younger children. It is easy for students to become bored with sitting and listening. In order for a lecture to be successful, an instructor should:

  • Be well prepared. Show enthusiasm for the subject.
  • Know more about the subject than given in the lecture.
  • Do not read from lecture notes.
  • Be stimulating and creative.
  • Keep sentences short.
  • Keep vocabulary appropriate to the age group.
  • Use charts, models, or other visual aids.
  • Use a sense of humor. People enjoy humor and will remember any points that raise a chuckle.
  • Make eye contact with the listeners.
  • Project the voice to ensure the entire audience can hear.
  • Use expression and inflection in the voice.
  • Avoid using “filler words” like “uh,” “you know,” and “okay.”
  • Involve the listeners; ask someone to come up and hold something, or have everyone get up and try some exercise that relates to the subject.
  • Ask questions.
  • Be prepared to answer questions.

Role Playing: Role playing can simulate reality from someone else’s point of view. It involves imagination and encourages creativity, expression of feelings and values, and the development of social skills.

  • Role playing is very useful in demonstrating horse behavior and encouraging students to “think like a horse.”
  • It can be fun, especially for younger children who are more enthusiastic about some form of play than they are about lectures or discussions.
  • Some students love to “play horse” and will happily run through figure eights or arena patterns or perform imaginary classes in a “horseless horse show.”

Games & Competitions: Games and competitions can stimulate effort and interest in subjects the instructor wants the students to work on. Games and contests motivate the students to try by promising recognition and praise to the winner. The best games and competitions are those that are fun and that reward all riders for their efforts.

Additional topics covered in CHA’s The Equine Professional Manual—The Art of Teaching Riding include riding programs, teaching techniques, the riding student, the horse, communication, arena instruction, risk management, and horse management. The manual also includes sample forms for riding instructors and facility managers, sample lesson plans, checklists, sample business plans, and more. To purchase the complete manual, please visit, www.CHA.horse/professionalmanual.

Saddle Fit Differences Between Men and Women

By Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CEE

When I first started teaching my wife, Sabine, how to ride, I couldn’t understand why she kept complaining that the saddle hurt her there. I would get on the same saddle and have absolutely no problem. She, on the other hand, had difficulty keeping correct positioning with her legs back, back straight, and shoulders back. Then when we I started building saddles in Canada, Sabine was my guinea pig, but because she didn’t want to hurt my feelings, she never admitted that the saddles I was making (for female clients) weren’t really comfortable for her.

When a well-known judge and rider confided in me that she was literally “rubbed raw” and felt pulled apart, a light bulb went off in my head. I conferred with a gynecologist and began to investigate the differences in male and female anatomy, starting with pelvic structure, and then including hip articulation, muscles, and skeleton. I learned that the differences between men and women were extremely significant when considering saddle design. We then started using a plaster cast method, which served as incredible visual aids to make our full custom saddles.

Since then, we have refined our designs and are now known as the “Female Saddle Specialist,” a niche which becomes even more fitting when you consider that the demographics of our industry have shifted significantly over the past 50 years or so to become predominantly female.

With this shift in demographics, why haven’t more saddle manufacturers taken this into consideration when making saddles? Many still build saddles the way they have been made for decades, and some women still dismiss the idea of needing a saddle built specifically for their conformation. Many riders have simply learned to deal with the discomfort and ride well enough to make these saddles work, but it’s not ideal.

I have worked closely with a very qualified equestrian medical expert in our industry, James Warson, MD, who wrote the book, The Rider’s Pain Free Back. I have incorporated many of his findings into my own book.

So let’s consider the various anatomical differences and how they apply to saddle fit for women.

Width of the seat bones (birthing channel): This determines how wide the saddle seat needs to be; in many of the saddles made for men, a woman will actually find herself sitting on the seat seam, which is irritating to say the least.

Spinal column: Riders need to be able to use the four natural curves of the vertebral column as natural shock absorbers. If a female rider leans back or hunches forward because the saddle isn’t right for her, her spine will take the brunt of the impact and result in back pain issues, which could result in slipped discs.

Pelvic balance and pubic symphysis: The male pelvis can balance on its seat bones as on a bipod; the female pelvis needs to use her pubic symphysis as well as her seat bones, like a tripod. For women, this means there is another area of friction at the pommel area, which can result in pain. To compensate and avoid pain, the rider in pain might collapse at the hip, which then causes the leg to shoot forward, placing the rider in the chair seat position.

Hip joints: The male hip joints are articulated differently, which allows the legs to hang straight down, whereas women’s legs are naturally angled outwards. This results in the female rider feeling pulled apart if the twist, the area of the saddle tree that we feel between our upper inner thighs, is too wide.

Upper leg musculature: Because of the structure of the quads and hamstrings as indicated in the picture, the woman needs to have a narrower twist (as a rule).

Gluteus maximus (butt cheeks): The female’s glutes are much higher up than a man’s, which indicates the need for additional support in the seat at the cantle area to prevent her from collapsing to the back.

If all of these points are taken into consideration when fitting a saddle, a woman can use the properly fitted saddle to help her ride in proper position and balance. She can now concentrate on her ride rather than fighting her saddle for proper position.

For a man, riding in a saddle that is uncomfortable for him (especially at the pommel area because of too much padding at the seat) could result in restricted blood flow in the sensitive perineal area. This could lead to erectile dysfunction, impotence, or other physical problems.

These are the points of reference every rider should ensure are correct for his or her body, regardless if they are male or female:

  • Width of the seat to support the seat bones
  • Skirt attachment with flat seaming to avoid pressure at the back of the upper inner thigh
  • Saddle twist appropriate for male or female to accommodate upper leg musculature
  • Angle of the pommel to avoid hitting the pubic symphysis (waist seaming width)
  • Seat foam (mattress) to support the gluteus muscles
  • Flattest part of the saddle, or the supporting area, where the majority of weight is carried; needs special attention to avoid pressure on the crotch area
  • Cantle angle to provide necessary support
  • Saddle balance (many women prefer forward balance)
  • Stirrup bar position to accommodate the upper leg length to lower leg length ratio (most women will require extended stirrup bars since their upper legs are longer than their lower legs); if this is not considered and fitted properly to the rider, the leg will naturally swing forward

In summary, the saddle should allow the rider to sit as closely to the horse as possible while allowing the positive and balanced interaction of the vertical spine of the rider and the horizontal spine of the horse. Riding shouldn’t hurt, and this goes for both the rider and the horse If the rider isn’t comfortable, this will translate down to the horse, and he will never perform to the best of his ability. So us riders owe it to ourselves and to our horses to ride in a saddle suited to our body. As the saying goes, “You are worth it!”

Author Bio]
Jochen Schleese, author of Suffering in Silence: The Saddle Fit Link to Physcial and Psychological Trauma in Horses, is a Certified Master Saddler from Passier He operates a saddlery training facility in Ontario, Canada, and provides diagnostic saddle fit analysis and fitting services across North America, especially for women. SaddlesforWomen.com

[Captions]
Photos of male and female rider side by side with plaster casts showing points of contact:
Although these two riders are very similar in body shape on the outside, their plaster casts clearly show the differences in their pelvic points of reference. The male (right) has two points of contact on the saddle at the seat bones, which are closer together than those of the female (left). In addition, the female pelvis has a third point of contact at the front (her pubic symphysis).

Photos of female and male pelvic skeleton:
The female pelvis’ pubic symphysis is fairly flat and low and will hit the pommel area. The male pelvis’ public symphasis is relatively higher than the female one with steeper angles, which allow it to sit far away from the pommel area.

See images below for reference.

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Becoming a Leader for Your Students and Horses

By Julie Goodnight

As a horsemanship or riding instructor, you want to strive to be a good leader and interact with fairness with all of your students and clients. In addition, you want to teach your riders to be good leaders to the horses they ride. Leadership is not just about your actions or intentions; it is also about your honesty, integrity, and fairness. Authority is not the same as leadership—just because you have authority over others does not mean that they have a desire to follow you or accept you as their leader.

Developing strong leadership skills with our horses can also help us become better leaders with people, especially if we think about the lessons the horse provides to us regarding leadership. In addition, you can teach your students to judge whether their mount is questioning their leadership skills.

Horses have a sense of fairness, just as they are good judges of leadership and trustworthiness. Because they are herd animals, they are mindful of leadership, hierarchy, rules, and ramifications of behavior. They are instinctively drawn to strong leadership, with a compelling desire to be accepted in a herd and a profound fear of banishment from the herd. Both horses and students thrive when leadership, rules, and structure exist, and they flail in the absence of it. Horses can be a reflection of our leadership skills with students and clients, as well.

Horses and students usually know when they are breaking a rule or pushing a boundary, and they usually responds well to fair discipline. But when rules are unclear or inconsistently enforced, when you say one thing but then do another, when you inadvertently punish even though no punishment was intended, or when the punishment does not fit the crime, both horses and students will feel that they are being treated unfairly, and trust in you diminishes.

So how do you know if the horse feels like the rider is treating him unfairly? Reactions from the horse may range from a slight tensing and lifting of the head, to shaking the head, refusals, running through the bridle, crow-hopping, bucking, or shutting down (becoming nonresponsive). While there can be a variety of causes for these reactions, whenever a horse is frustrated, it’s always important to consider your own actions and how they may be viewed by the horse. After all, none of us are perfect leaders for our horses or our students.

Here are some common scenarios which a horse might consider unfair. It’s important to coach riders not to do these things or the horse will question their leadership skills.

Unfair Treatment #1: Asking him to do something then punishing him for doing it
An easy way to test a horse’s sense of fairness is to cue him to canter, then hit him in the mouth with the bit when he does. How he reacts to that will tell you how tolerant he is. This happens far more often than you think, regardless of rider level. Sometimes it’s related to lack of skill; other times it is reactionary—a rider fearful of the canter often snatches the horse up as soon as they respond to the cue. From the horse’s point of view, you asked him to do something then you punished him for doing it. Responses from this kind of conflicting signal can include: a small shake of the head, crow-hopping, a refusal to canter anymore, or bucking. Usually it is the horse that is blamed, although from the horse’s point of view, this is not fair or honest.

Unfair treatment #2: Asking for one more time
Let’s say you or your student has been working on something challenging with their mount—like jumping gymnastics. You started with a few rails in a line of jump-every-stride obstacles and gradually added more until it’s a very challenging and strenuous exercise. After some stops and starts and failed attempts, the horse finally goes through the full gymnastic correctly. You are thrilled! So what’s the first thing you say? “Let’s do that one more time.”

So, he’s already given you his best and that wasn’t good enough; now he’s tired and emotionally spent and you ask for more. Things fall apart, and what should have been a great training session turns into a salvage effort. Fairness would dictate that you recognized your horse’s best effort and let him rest on that.

Unfair treatment #3: Setting the horse up for failure 
This is the actual real, unedited scenario that stimulated this article. A past clinic attendee whose horse had come uncorked due to the clinic atmosphere wrote to me about how her horse had recently done great in an arena full of 15 other horses. When they finished, he loaded without hesitation into the trailer. However, since her horse was tired and away from home, she then decided to practice trailer loading. Her horse balked, and a nearby rider had to assist her.
It was indeed unfair to finish and then ask her horse for more. Clearly the horse had given of himself, worked very hard, and done the right thing. He had every reason to believe he was done and would receive the kindness of comfort from his leader. Instead, he was set up to fail. He had already loaded once without resistance.

Should we expect perfect patience from our mounts in every situation or at the same level we expect from more patient or experienced horses? No. Should we make our horse, or our students for that matter, jump through hoops when they are anxious or aggravated? No. Should we ALWAYS set our horses and our students up for success? YES! That is what makes a good training exercise.

Good leaders do not expect their followers to do things beyond their capabilities. If we think an individual (horse or human) may not be capable of giving us what we want in that moment, it’s best not to ask. Do something else instead. Come back later and address it when the chances of success are greater or when you have removed other obstacles.

Always make sure your expectations are realistic and attainable. Have high expectations, but always remember to recognize efforts from both your horses and your students. Everyone wants the feeling of a job well done.

[Author Bio]
International trainer and clinician Julie Goodnight is the international spokesperson for CHA, a CHA Master Instructor, and the star of RFD-TV’s “Horse Master with Julie Goodnight.” JulieGoodnight.com

Lisa Lombardi in CA

Finding Your Career Path


By Sarah Evers Conrad

Members of the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) have an abundance of career options, including riding instructor at a public riding facility, owner of one’s own facility, a camp instructor, an instructor associated with organizations like the Girl Scouts, instructor of riders with disabilities, teaching at the college/university level, being a trail or overnight guide, etc.

Managing one’s career can mean making some big decisions over time. Those decisions can mean the difference between a carefully crafted career or one that can take you down a variety of side trails before you end up on the path that is best suited for you. Everyone is different, and there is no one right career pathway, especially in an industry as vibrant and diverse as the horse industry.

Owning a Lesson Barn
Some of the most common options for instructors is to either work for a lesson facility as one of several instructors, to run their own lesson program and lease space out of a facility, or to run a program out of their own their own facility. CHA Certified Instructor Corinne Lettau is the owner of Denver Equestrians, LLC, and the Colorado Equestrian Center in Littleton, CO, a full-service boarding and training facility with lessons in English equitation, western pleasure, dressage, and jumping for youth and adults.

“I started my own business, which featured a horse camp program in 2009,” she says. “It grew by 400% each year until we were able to purchase our own facility.”

Even though it is stressful, Lettau likes having control of her own facility. “While it was definitely easier to lease space from another barn owner, the ability to secure the facility gives us stability that we wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Lettau has the most experience within the disciplines of dressage, however her views have broadened beyond that one niche. “My appreciation for kids and allowing them to choose their own disciplines after learning the basics has become a new passion,” she says.

Scouting the Way
Many instructors get started in Girl Scout or Boy Scout riding programs and summer camps, just like Julie Fischer did. Fischer is a CHA Certified Instructor in western disciplines in Allenspark, CO, and an assistant site manager at Meadow Mountain Ranch Girl Scout Camp during peak season and a camp volunteer in the off season.

“The career path with Scouts has led me to work and live in some amazing and remote locations, go on some great trips, and change the lives of many scouts through horses,” says Fischer, who adds that the down side can include a lack of job security.

Fischer shares that her skills in accounting, bookkeeping, management, training, grant writing, non-profits, and facility management have been helpful when working for these non-profits.

“Being valuable to an equine business is important,” she says. “I was constantly improving my knowledge and traits so I could provide more to any program I worked for in addition to horse knowledge.”

Camp-Related Career
Camp Morrow Ranch Manager Teddy Franke of Pine Hollow, OR, says the great thing about working in a camp program is that there are always opportunities and directions to grow. Franke is a CHA Certified Instructor with a certification to teach riders with disabilities as well, a CHA Equine Facilities Management Assistant Clinic Instructor, a CHA Certified Trail Packing Guide, as well as a graduate of Mission Farrier School and an American Stock Horse Association judge.

“If I can dream some program up and get a pile of people to come along on the adventure, it will usually fit the mission and generally be effective,” says Franke, who knew his ideal career would be to combine horses and ministry. “Having the freedom to pursue those ideas and the ability to scrap the poor ones is what makes this line of work worthwhile.”

Franke has really enjoyed traveling to horse-related events, clinics, conferences, and a host of other functions. On the flip side with a camp career, he cites never having enough time to accomplish everything he wants to or being able to develop a specialty within the horse industry because to help people use a camp horse, he has to teach a wide range of disciplines.

In addition to the camp, Franke runs a small side business involving training, instruction, and farrier services. This has helped him diversify his income streams for when one part of the business is slower.

Academia Instructor
Instructing at the college level and/or coaching a collegiate equestrian team is a calling that many CHA members find appealing. “I love college students,” says Amanda Love, the horsemanship director and women’s equestrian team coach at West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) in Canyon, TX. “It is a very fun age to teach as they are now responsible for their own decisions and are excited to pursue new information. College is a place where I have an opportunity to help encourage others while they pursue their riding passion and balance that with choosing their own career path.”

Love adds that the college kids keep her young at heart. However, she jokes that she doesn’t remember what a day off looks like with this career path, because in a college environment, one teaches all week and then must take the equestrian team to competitions on the weekend. However, this can also be true for any instructor who take their students to shows.

How CHA Helps Career Development
CHA certification can open up a lot of great career opportunities. Fischer says that the connections, resources, and relationships one makes through CHA can last a lifetime, while Love adds that the CHA network of people and the interaction at CHA clinics and conferences is the best way to find new ideas to bring back to the barn.

This ability to always be learning is what Franke loves about his career. “I feel fortunate that I will likely run out of life before I come close to learning all there is to know about the horse,” he says.

Fischer adds that the various CHA certifications allow instructors to branch out and become skilled in working with riders at all levels and in various disciplines.

In Summary
Love encourages instructors to try out different careers before deciding on a final path. “I think it is important that as instructors, we have a bigger view of the horse world than just what is out our back door,” says Love. “Being involved in different facets of the horse world gives you more to offer your students.”

Lettau says that by experiencing multiple career paths within the horse industry that instructors will be able to find the exact niche that they are meant to provide to others. And finding that ideal career path can lead to a lifelong passion and contentment with one’s career.
Sarah Evers Conrad is the editor of CHA’s The Instructor, and is also published in a variety of equine publications, such as The Horse, Arabian Horse Life, American Quarter Horse Journal, American Paint Horse Journal, USDF Connection, Equestrian, and others. In addition, she helps equine businesses with their marketing through her company, All In Stride Marketing. Visit AllInStrideMarketing.com.

Risk Management is a Must

By Jill Montgomery

Most riders are well aware of the risks that come with horseback riding. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, one in five riders (20%) will suffer a serious horse-related injury that requires medical care or hospitalization. In addition, an equine professional such as a riding instructor, may face legal action if someone is injured in their care. We should all pause for a moment to consider exactly what that means. However, there is a lot we can do, and that we should be doing, to manage the risks in equine activities.

Equine professionals should create an environment where clients can enjoy their program and have the necessary tools to make their experiences with horses safe; this leads to repeat customers and more business. Conversely, the old adage “bad news travels fast” is never truer than when a client is injured in your riding program, and it could damage your reputation.

With such a broad range of potential problem areas, you may ask, “Where do I start?”

Key areas for managing risk in a horse program include:
• The horse’s training and suitability for the activity,
• The education and expectations for the participants behavior;
• The education and expectations for the behavior of staff;
• The equipment used in the equine activity; and
• The environment in which the activity takes place.

Proper handling skills and training may reduce risks of injury for both humans and horses. Safety-oriented facility design and advanced planning for emergencies and disaster planning may substantially reduce environmental risks.

Ensure that your well-trained staff and clients practice safety every day with every interaction with a horse or another rider. Train your horses to accept the tasks asked of them calmly and obediently. Check tack and equipment every time it is used, and repair or replace damaged equipment. Plan for and create policies for dealing with environmental risks.
The equine professional must also constantly educate participants about equine behavior and continually identify, assess, and analyze risks associated with the services they offer. However, even with good management, training, and preparation some equine behaviors are largely unpredictable and can cause injury to a client. Unpredictable behaviors such as bucking, shying, rearing, bolting, tripping, or stumbling are collectively referred to as inherent risks.

Legal Liability
Almost all states now have limited liability statutes to offer protection from legal liability for the inherent risks of equine activities. While these laws don’t prevent injured parties from suing, they are very helpful to defendants and limit the complaints to the exceptions in the law, which vary by state. Equine professionals need to know their specific state laws. However, despite these statutes, the best defense is to take practical steps to avoid injuries.

Risk management in regards to legal action can be described as a three-legged stool, and removing any of the legs from this stool leaves you in an unstable position. These three legs include:
• Acknowledgement of Risk or Liability Waiver—More than just a release of liability, this document should educate the client about the risks they may be exposed to in your program. Your attorney and insurance company should review and sign off on the language. Everyone in your operation that comes into contact with horses should be taught the material and be asked if they understand it before they sign. Keep the signed document as a permanent record.
• Liability Insurance—Ensure the activities in your operation are adequately covered with insurance. To find the correct policy, work with an insurance professional who understands your operation.
• Refrain from Negligent Behavior—Negligence is an exception in every state’s statutes. Be familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction that effect your program. Know what your community expects from you as a service provider. Build a culture at your facility that is safety aware using training, procedures, and policies. Post barn rules so everyone sees them and can enforce them. Document your safety efforts.
Identifying Risk Scenarios
One technique for prioritizing risk management is assessing the relationship between the likelihood (frequency) of a risk and the severity of the damage if it occurs. Identify the high frequency risks in your program and always be prepared to handle them should they occur. Examples of risk scenarios ranked using frequency versus severity, include:

The Barn Fire—Any barn fire can be catastrophic. However, if you have a disaster and emergency plan in place, it could save lives and reduce the amount of damage.

A Loose Girth/Cinch—This type of tack failure, as well as others, could result in the saddle slipping and/or a fallen rider. Yet, this type of incident is avoidable. Always check if the saddle is off center or if it has moved forward or backward from its normal position before having a rider mount. You can also reduce this risk by adjusting the cinch as needed, adding breast collars for increased stability, and by helping the rider to stay centered on the horse.

Horse Steps on Handler’s Toes—This is one of the most common risks, although it’s often not severe. Teach your horses to be respectful of their handlers’ space and teach handlers to be aware of the potential for crushed toes and to wear proper footwear.

In Summary
Providing clear and consistent messaging to your clients and staff about your safety policies and practices will help build a safety-conscious culture and create a foundation for your horse program’s continued success.

[Author Bio]
Jill Montgomery is CEO of JRAM Enterprises, Inc., Equine Business Consulting. She is also a CHA Certified Instructor, CHA Certified Equine Facility Manager, and a Region 9 Director. JRAMenterprises.com.

CHA’s Further Resources
Webinars: Risk Management in a Horsemanship Program; Risk Management—What You Need to Know About Liability, Contracts, and Releases at CHA.horse/store/categories/CHA_Webinars
Books: CHA Standards for Equestrian Programs
Blogs: Emergency Planning: When It Really Counts, Will Your Farm Be Prepared?; Three Must-See Safety Guidelines for Equestrian Facilities; Three More Important Standards for Equestrian Programs; Safety Standards for Managing Equines Important for Equine Programs and Clients; Horseback Rider Safety Apparel from Head to Toe; and 7 Pieces of Equipment for a Safer Ride at CHA.horse/blog

Secrets of Successful Riding Instructors

Secrets of Successful Riding Instructors
By Sarah Evers Conrad

When riders are asked why they ride, it often comes down to one prevailing answer—passion for the horse. And it also explains why so many riders become riding instructors. It’s important for riding instructors to have that passion for horses and teaching. Riding lessons are often the stepping stone into the horse industry for many participants, which makes horseback riding instructors the lifeblood behind a thriving equine industry. Therefore, it’s crucial for instructors to be able to have successful careers so that there is growth and sustainability within the horse industry as a whole.

Three of CHA’s experts, all who have had successful careers as riding instructors and who have given back to the industry as CHA board members and volunteers, share some of the secrets behind their success.

Various Avenues to Success

CHA Master Instructor and Clinician Tara Gamble of British Columbia, Canada, went out on her own with Tara Gamble Horsemanship in 2009 after working at a variety of facilities. Gamble got her start teaching at age 18 at Birch Bay Ranch in Alberta after 10 years of being a camper. She says she wanted to give back to the ranch that had been such a big part of her life. Gamble was introduced to CHA early in her career because the ranch required CHA certification.

Gamble’s excitement for running the games station at Birch Bay Ranch led her to to one of the most important decisions of her life. “It was at this moment I realized this was my passion, and I was going to become a horsemanship instructor,” she says.

Not only has she been an instructor at a variety of facilities, the past 27 years have seen Gamble serve as CHA President, as Vice President of the Miss Rodeo Canada Board of Directors and a pageant coordinator, as President of the Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF), and as an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) board member. She also became an AQHA Professional Horseman. CHA has recognized Gamble’s dedication by naming her the 2013 CHA Volunteer of the Year and the 2006 CHA Clinic Instructor of the Year.

Peggy Adams of Greensboro, GA, retired a few years ago from teaching on her farm, PLA HorsePlay. Adams is the current CHA Past President, a CHA Master Instructor, Clinic Staff, and a Certified Overnight Trail Guide. She spent almost 30 years with the Girl Scouts outside of the Atlanta area in a variety of managerial positions, including as the supervisor of the year-round outdoor programs for youth and adults. Because one of the most popular activities for the Girl Scouts was horseback riding, Adams was charged with designing and developing the riding lesson program at three equine facilities.

“Having been a horse enthusiast my entire life, it became my mission to help make sure that campers had an opportunity to be introduced to horses,” says Adams. “Many of our young riders wouldn’t have ever had the chance to ride if not for our programs. It was a wonderful way to take my passion for horses and share it with others.”

Due to her lifetime achievements and her dedication to CHA since 1996, Adams was named the 2016 CHA Distinguished Service Award winner.

Anne Brzezicki, CHA’s Vice President of Regional Relations, is most known for her work as the Director of the Equestrian Program at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and coach of the MTSU Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) teams. She also taught at the University of Connecticut and Virginia Tech, worked for AQHA Professional Andy Moorman, and ran her own business in Tennessee, which was focused on amateurs and youth inside and outside the show arena.

Brzezicki’s first horseback riding teaching position was at the Connecticut 4-H Camps, where she worked with 500 riders every summer for seven years. She says her career chose her. “It was there that I discovered my passion for teaching riders to get the best from their horses rather than to simply look good,” she says.

Due to a hiring freeze, she and another student were allowed to coach her university’s equestrian team when she was a student at the University of Connecticut (UConn). Due to that experience, she was hired to teach at UConn before she got out the door. That position led to her other teaching positions and a lifetime of dedication to college students in equestrian programs.

She is a now a CHA Master Instructor and an Assistant Clinic Instructor, and the 2015 CHA Instructor of the Year. For all of her contributions to IHSA, the organization awarded her with the 2003 IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award. She retired from MTSU last year.

Reflecting on Success

Gamble points out is that the diversity within her career has helped her enjoy a variety of experiences and continuously offers up brand new opportunities. While she gained a lot of experience subcontracting at different barns for lessons for 17 years, transitioning to her own facility was a new challenge that required business, management, and public relations skills in addition to her horsemanship knowledge and experience.

“Going the private route allowed me more control over my client’s and their horse’s needs to increase their satisfaction,” says Gamble, adding that great communication skills, people skills, and organizational skills have been important. She encourages instructors to always keep learning and adding to their experience.

Adams recommends that instructors learn to communicate with students as easily as possible. “This requires the ability to break skills down into easily understandable small steps,” she adds. “Being able to teach with a rider’s learning style in mind goes a long way to achieving success.”

Brzezicki advises instructors to teach respect for the horse and to share their enthusiasm with their students. “Pay attention to what works for your students and what doesn’t, and change what doesn’t,” she adds. “Take advantage of every opportunity to teach and to watch and listen to other teachers. And understand that your students will also teach you every day.”

Common Problems

Some of the common problems that instructors experience include: miscommunications with students, burnout, lack of self care, how to keep up with progress within a discipline, and dealing with fads, and barn drama.

“Keeping a positive attitude through adversity is paramount,” says Gamble. “It’s important to keep a direct, clear line open and check in often with your students/clients. Try to be as proactive as possible and think of potential challenges.”

Marketing Tips

Marketing is an important aspect of running any business. Gamble recommends that instructors become involved in the local horse community and network as much as possible. “I recommend remembering that you are always an ambassador, and your actions are a reflection of your reputation,” she says.

Adams reminds instructors to tell others about their CHA certification and to use this credential in their marketing.

Word-of-mouth recommendations are key for riding instructors to market themselves. People will often market a business that they can stand behind. “Students and customers having a good time with their horses, supporting each other and winning, draws others to your program and makes the best advertising,” says Brzezicki.

Additional methods of marketing that have also been beneficial to Gamble, Adams, and Brzezicki are:

  • Hosting their own websites;
  • Participating on social media platforms;
  • Hosting free or low-cost clinics for local 4-H or saddle club kids; and
  • Helping state organizations with their novice programs.

The CHA Impact

Adams shares that she used the CHA standards to design the programs and facilities for the Girl Scouts. “These industry standards were very useful in helping others understand why we did things a certain way,” says Adams, who adds that both parents and students appreciated that she had the CHA Certification to back up her experience.

“CHA offered me the tools to develop a riding program focusing on safety and progressive skill development for my students,” says Gamble, who has been certified with CHA for 27 years.

Even though she found CHA late in her career, Brzezicki says CHA’s teachings validated what she had been doing in her career and gave her more confidence to help her students who wanted to become riding instructors. It also broadened her network.

“I have found CHA to be the most inclusive, accepting, creative, and helpful set of horse people all dedicated to the progress of their students and other instructors,” adds Brzezicki.

Gamble encourages instructors to familiarize themselves with all of the information, resources, and opportunities on the CHA websites, www.CHA.horse and www.CHA.horse. In addition, many CHA regions have their own websites or social media platforms with additional information. One important resource offered by CHA is the ability for instructors to advertise their businesses on the CHA instructor database.

Additional member benefits that Gamble, Adams, and Brzezicki have found valuable include the insurance discounts, this magazine – The Instructor, the ability to participate at regional and international conferences, corporate partner benefits, products on the CHA online store, and educational materials, such as manuals and DVDs.

“Use the CHA student books and materials with your riders,” suggests Adams. “Have students and parents watch some of the video shorts on the CHA YouTube channel to reinforce topics taught during lessons.”

In Summary

Adams emphasizes the importance of continuing education and certification for today’s instructors. “My advice is to keep learning and challenging yourself to become certified as an instructor,” she says. “This will allow you to see how you stack up with other instructors by having a third-party evaluation of your current teaching skills.”

Brzezicki says that CHA certification is a great resume builder, especially since many employers are looking for certification as a sign that someone has been tested and found to be competent. She says it’s important for instructors to challenge themselves to always work toward higher levels of certification.

Adams recommends instructors serve as mentors to less experienced instructors in order to help the horse industry as a whole. Gamble and Brzezicki remind instructors that it takes time for success to happen.

“This is hard work,” says Brzezicki. “Approach each lesson with positive energy, a plan, and a goal. Look at each student with hope. And if you don’t love it, find another job.”

Gamble sums it up with the why behind why she teaches. “The rewards of teaching are much greater than monetary and have enriched my life immensely,” she says.

Sarah Evers Conrad is the editor of CHA’s The Instructor, and is also published in a variety of equine publications, such as The Horse, Arabian Horse Life, American Quarter Horse Journal, American Paint Horse Journal, USDF Connection, Equestrian, and others. In addition, she helps equine businesses with their marketing through her company, All In Stride Marketing. Visit AllInStrideMarketing.com.

“Being able to teach with a rider’s learning style in mind goes a long way to achieving success.” – Peggy Adams

Julie Goodnight Photo by Whole Picture

Succeeding as a Clinician

By Julie Goodnight

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “clinician” as “a person who conducts a clinic,” with “clinic” defined as “a group meeting devoted to analysis and solution of concrete problems or to the acquiring of specific skills or knowledge.” After decades as a horsemanship clinician and thousands of clinics worldwide, I think these definitions make perfect sense. In the horse industry, a clinician is an expert trainer or instructor who travels to various locations—regionally, nationally or internationally—to teach horsemanship on a one-time basis.
To me, being a clinician is not a career in and of itself but rather the result of a successful career as a horse trainer or riding instructor. And it can help diversify your revenue streams.

To be a successful clinician, you must have:
• Expert ability
• Exceptional communication skills
• Years of experience training horses
• Years of experience teaching horsemanship to people
• An established reputation in your field
• Business sense

Business Model
The purpose of a clinic is to teach, correct any issues, and to improve the performance of the horses, riders, and handlers involved. With experience, you’ll learn which techniques, business models, and clinic structures work best for your teaching methods.
Some horsemanship clinics involve group lessons while others teach back-to-back private or semi-private lessons in front of an audience. Some clinics are discipline, breed, or ability-level specific, while others are open to all niches. Usually there are spectators and auditors.
Administering the clinic requires organization, communication, and attention to details or the clinic will fail—no matter how brilliant the clinician. If your organizational skills aren’t up to par, consider outsourcing.

Here are some ways to structure your horsemanship clinics.

• Find a clinic host that will foot the bill, pay you a flat fee per day, or guarantee a minimum number of riders or a percentage of the profits. The host provides the facility, promotes the clinic, recruits attendees, collects all the money, and—after paying you—makes all the profit (or may take a loss). Pro: This model is easy—just show up and teach. Con: If the clinic is well-attended, the host may make more money than you.
• The clinician foots the bill, rents the facility (or trades for spots in the clinic), promotes the clinic, registers attendees, collects the money, and accepts all risk for profit or loss. Pro: This is the most profitable if the clinic fills and you have total control. Con: More work is involved, and there are no guarantees.
• Combinations of any aspects of the above could be used to structure a clinic, as well as bartering for services, partnering with a promoter, and non-profit or philanthropic partnering (e.g, you teach a 4-H clinic for free in exchange for being able to host a for-profit clinic for adults).
However you structure your clinic, make sure you consider all expenses, including travel, advertising, liability insurance, care of your horses at home, and labor at home and at the clinic. Before you price your clinic, ensure the profit will adequately compensate you while you are away from home.

Marketing Clinics
It’s up to you to convince attendees to take your clinic, but the marketing tools below can help.
• Website—Include all the information people could want or need on your website, such as your bio, your teaching techniques and philosophy, what a clinic is like, policies and procedures, your calendar of events, and registration information. Enter your clinics on free online event calendars (e.g., Eventbrite.com, Wikido.com), and link to your website.
• Social Media—Social media—especially Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube—can raise interest in your programs. Keep your brand active, share your training philosophies, spend time visiting relevant online horse groups and chat rooms, and allow people to get to know you.
• Horse Expos—Speaking at horse expos is the easiest way I fill clinics because it gets me in front of an audience who will then come back a few months later for my clinic.
• Flyers—I send a flyer to be printed at an office store near where the clinic will be held. Then a local volunteer will pick them up and post at places horse people frequent.
• Newsletter—We always include informative articles plus a list of my upcoming clinics and expos. Staying connected to your customers is key.
• Word of Mouth—Followers of your training methods are happy to spread the word if asked. Sometimes we offer a discount off a rider’s own tuition for each rider they sign up.

Sponsorships
No company is eager to invest in a clinician unless they will get a nice return on their investment (ROI). You will have to work very hard for them if you expect to get a deal and maintain the relationship. What you have to offer is influence over the buyer and things like media exposure, arena banners, wearing their logo, product placement, a trailer decal, website exposure, social media posts, etc. The sponsor will want evidence of how your efforts impact their ROI.

It’s important to get a feel for the landscape of sponsorships in the horse industry and to distinguish between readily available product trades and harder-to-come-by cash sponsorships. Product trades should offsets your costs. Some companies may only offer a sales commission, which may or may not be lucrative because you must repeatedly close a sale.

Don’t forget to protect your brand. Taking on too many sponsors, changing sponsors regularly, or endorsing fly-by-night products could devalue it and repel bigger sponsors. One big cash sponsor may be better than a bunch of product trades.

Some categories of products are highly competitive for sponsorships, so sponsors will want exclusivity. Supplements, feeds, tack, saddle pads, pharmaceuticals, and apparel are categories with many brands competing against each other and areas where horse trainers have a lot of influence with the customer.

Tread carefully with exclusivity, because this rules out having other sponsors in that category. To me, exclusivity is like getting married to that company. Think about the long term. Are your values compatible? Is it a brand you can use and stand behind? Can you positively impact the company’s sales and conduct yourself in a manner that the sponsor wants you to? Can the sponsor make a long-term investment in you, or is this going to be a one-time thing?

In Conclusion
It’s important to develop the traits mentioned above to succeed as a clinician. Developing horsemanship clinics can be rewarding and lucrative. Find ways to stand out from the crowd. Develop a loyal following at home, decide on your business model and marketing, and then take your show on the road!

International trainer and clinician Julie Goodnight is the international spokesperson for CHA and a CHA Master Instructor. JulieGoodnight.com.

Laura Jones

Sample CHA Lesson Plan

Tips for Lesson Planning

By Sarah Evers Conrad

Lesson planning is an important part of developing a cohesive and organized lesson program focused on goal achievement and rider progression. According to CHA’s latest manual, The Equine Professional Manual: The Art of Teaching Riding, a lesson plan is “a clear, flexible, and individualized teaching aid for conducting a class or a short-term instructional session.”

Each lesson plan is based on the individual needs, interests, and abilities of the students involved in that lesson. It should always focus on safety and be specific, sequential, and progressively build on the student’s skill level.

Why Lesson Plan

“Lesson plans make you organize your thoughts, arena, focus, and energy,” says CHA Master Instructor Tara Reimer, who owns Cloud 9 Ranch in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada, with her husband, Derek. This CHA Clinician, Region 2 Director, and 2013 CHA Instructor of the Year teaches Western, English, jumping, and vaulting, while also training horses at the ranch. “A lesson plan keeps you on track time wise.”

CHA Master Instructor Cheryl West is a USDF Bronze Medalist, CHA Standard, IRD, and Equine Facility Management Clinician, and director in Region 8. She owns and operates West Equestrian in Sand Springs, OK; teaches at Stormwalker Ranch; and gives clinics nationally.

“A well-thought-out lesson plan allows you to have a creative lesson for your riders,” says West. “It gives you the ability to teach to the lowest level, but allows you to be prepared for those riders who catch on a bit quicker or even a bit slower.”

Since West works with a variety of instructors, having a lesson plan ready means that another instructor can fill in and use her plan if West needs to miss a lesson. It also creates a record of skills, attendance, and horse usage.

CHA Certified Instructor Donovan Dobbs of Dobbs Horsemanship in Ozark, MO, considers a lesson plan a map that guides the rider to a specific goal. Dobbs teaches riding lessons, starts and trains horses for a variety of disciplines, offers horsemanship clinics, and serves as the Missouri representative for Region 9.

Parts of a Lesson Plan

The Equine Professional Manual advises each lesson plan should include the following sections:

  • Destination, which refers to the lesson’s main goal, aim, or objective
  • Preparation, such as the number of students and horses, assistants, equipment, tack, how the arena will be set up, etc.
  • Explanation of the new subject or skill to be taught, which includes a step-by-step progression highlighting key points and phrases of that lesson
  • Demonstration by an instructor or student who can perform the skill mounted or unmounted
  • Application of the new skill by students, either as a group or individually
  • Observation and Correction by the instructor as students try to master the new skill
  • Repetition of the skill by students, which sometimes is done via games, patterns, etc.
  • Conclusion of the lesson with a summary, review by the students, and a cool down for the horses
  • Evaluation by the instructor to see if the new skill was achieved, what the strengths/weaknesses of the lesson and teaching techniques were, and what changes to the lesson are needed

Creating the Lesson Plan

Each riding instructor will have their own methods for creating a lesson plan. West, Dobbs, and Reimer start with a general list of skills students learn in their lesson program.

Dobbs uses his master list and general lesson plans as a basic blueprint to develop individualized lesson plans based on the students in each lesson. He focuses on general topics with an overall goal for each rider per lesson. Each lesson with Dobbs focuses on that overall goal until it is achieved.

He likes to cover at least two or three points under that goal, although he may be able to cover more material beyond those if time allows. Dobbs keeps lesson plans to one page or less and never works more than five lessons ahead.

Both West and Reimer use the levels provided by CHA.

“I create goals at each level,” says West, adding that next she focuses on the aids or part of the rider she wants to focus on.

She always includes a pattern of some kind, even if it’s just one that has the rider ride in and out of cones or poles. To create her lesson plans, West reviews old lesson plans, articles, books, and websites that have patterns from several disciplines, including dressage, jumping, and western riding.

Each of Reimer’s lesson plans addresses the natural aids of weight, voice, legs, hands, and energy. In addition to the lesson plan, she always has a progression plan for how students should progress through the skills.

Reimer recommends instructors write out lesson plans, and if they end up teaching more than planned, to revise the lesson plan afterward. In addition, she gains invaluable insight for lesson planning by asking for feedback on the lesson from her students afterward.

Mistakes to Avoid

One of the biggest mistakes West sees in lesson planning is not including how to do the activity. “It’s important to the rider to understand how its done, not just what,” says West. “Tell the rider specifically how to use each part of their body and when.”

Reimer warns not to overcomplicate the plan. “Some students really struggle with left and right or memorizing patterns, so keep patterns simple, and repeat them several times,” she adds.

Dobbs reminds instructors not to get so focused on what they want to teach that it affects the effectiveness of their teaching. “Keep it simple and flexible,” he says, adding that there are many ways to complete a goal. “The instructor should not get too frustrated if circumstances get you away from your lesson plan. Remember, we are dealing with horses and people with minds of their own. It should never be a one-size-fits-all program.”

After the Lesson

Taking notes on the lesson plan can help with future lesson plans. “We always write notes on each student after the lesson on what they succeeded with and what they could work on, or the next possible step,” says West. “We also will note how horses rode, any issues, or if the plan was changed.”

Reimer shares that her notes, which she archives for two years, are detailed enough that if another instructor has to step in, then they will know each rider’s strengths, weaknesses, and skill level.

However, while details are important, says Dobbs, he warns that too many can be problematic. “Some lesson plans I have seen have so much going on that I even got confused,” he adds.

Reimer’s final piece of advice is for instructors to think back on how they learned all that they know. “Don’t expect your students to learn it any faster,” she says, especially if they only ride once a week. “It took me trying to learn piano as an adult to appreciate muscle memory and retention of the skill from one week to the next.”

While lesson planning is never an exact science, being organized and fine-tuning what works for you and your lesson program can make the time invested well worth it. And CHA’s various resources, including advice from fellow members, can always improve any lesson program.

Sarah Evers Conrad is the editor of CHA’s The Instructor, and is also published in a variety of equine publications, such as Horse Illustrated, The Horse, Arabian Horse Life, American Quarter Horse Journal, American Paint Horse Journal, USDF Connection, and others. In addition, she helps equine businesses with their marketing through her company, All In Stride Marketing. AllInStrideMarketing.com.

For more on lesson planning and to see a blank sample lesson plan and several additional completed sample lesson plans, you can purchase CHA’s The Equine Professional Manual—The Art of Teaching Riding from www.CHA.horse/store.

  • Pull Sample Lesson Plan from Equine Professional Manual from pg. 191 and 192
  • Show the cover of The Equine Professional Manual—The Art of Teaching Riding

Drill Team Maneuvers

Teaching

Tack Room

Lessons getting stale? Tired of traveling in the same circles? Try doing mounted drill team work with your riders! You can do drill team maneuvers with two riders or more. It develops rating skills in your riders and helps them learn the true meaning of teamwork. For extra enthusiasm, let the riders pick the music and choreograph the pattern. There are numerous maneuvers you can make with drill team riders, from basic school figures to fancy wheels and pass-throughs. Drill team patterns can be done for all levels of riders and may be done at the walk, trot or canter. We recommend starting at the walk and reserving canter movements for only the most advanced riders.

Kathy Reimer,
BC Canada

CHA Asst. Clinic Instructor

Rainbow reins, the multi-colored rubber reins made popular by pony club, are helpful teaching tools for young riders because the instructor can easily tell the student what amount of contact she should have by saying, “Put your hands on green.” But rainbow reins can be expensive so we just use colored electrical tape to mark our reins for the same effect!

Amy Habak,
Wheeling, WV

CHA Asst. Clinic Instructor

Herd Management

Horse Lingo

Never a farrier around when you need one? Try scheduling your farrier to come once a week, rain or shine, during your busy season and keep the herd on a rotating schedule. Not only will this make things easier for you, but also if you have problems in-between shoeings, you can get the horse fixed up and back in service quickly.

Holly Fox,
Davis, CA

CHA Asst. Clinic Instructor

Fishing and horses are two sports that just don’t mix all that well. And while horses are known to have a condition called FOUNDER, that is not to be confused with a tasty, but funny looking fish known as a FLOUNDER! Founder is a layman’s term for the serious and sometimes life-threatening disease technically known as LAMINITIS. Laminitis can be caused by many things known and unknown, such as over-eating grain, excessive weight, excessive stress, etc., and manifests in a an inflammation of the laminae of the hoof. The laminae are the highly vascular connective tissue between the inner structure of the hoof and the hoof wall. Since this is a closed space, inflammation and swelling causes severe pain and distress for the horse. A foundered horse needs immediate medical attention and the rehabilitation will be a joint effort between a skilled farrier and your vet.

Joanne Young,
Houghton, NY

CHA Clinic Instructor

Teach the 3 Different Ways that People Learn

Teaching

Tack Room

A good reminder for instructors, as we approach the busy teaching season, comes directly from the newly released CHA Instructor’s Manual. People learn in three different ways: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. The auditory learner will benefit most from the explanations that accompany any effective lesson, while the visual learner will learn more from the demonstration. A kinesthetic learner will learn best from actually practicing the motor skills. All of us learn in all three ways, but typically individuals will favor one method over the other two. For this reason, it is important to make sure all of your lessons present information in all three ways. Remember, that for a visual learner, a poor demonstration may leave a lasting impression of the wrong thing. For this reason, it important for the demonstration to be very good and you should avoid demonstrating the wrong thing or how not to do something. (The new Instructor’s Manual is now available by calling the CHA office; it is a valuable tool for instructors and trail guides).

A bit frequently seen in tack rooms everywhere is the “Tom Thumb snaffle” or western snaffle. This is a shanked bit with a jointed mouthpiece. This bit is commonly misunderstood and believed to be a very mild bit, because of its jointed mouthpiece. In fact, the bit can be quite harsh since the jointed mouthpiece allows the bit to squeeze the chin of the horse, an action referred to as the “nutcracker effect.” Additionally, when the shanks come together from a pull on both reins, the jointed part pushes up into the roof of the horse’s mouth, which is a highly sensitive area. This bit is definitely a leverage bit and is not a direct pressure bit like a snaffle. Horses using this bit will frequently open their mouth to try and escape the pressure. The bit definitely has its use, but if it is a mild bit you are looking for, this isn’t it.

Herd Management

Horse Lingo

Funguses and skin disorders are common problems in the summer, especially when the same grooming equipment is used for a large herd. Brushes and grooming tools should be disinfected regularly through out the season. Place the brushes in a five-gallon bucket and soak in a mix of bleach, detergent and water. Allow the brushes to soak for at least an hour, rinse VERY thoroughly (to avoid skin irritation caused by the bleach and detergent) and allow the brushes to dry in the sun. Disinfect brushes and grooming tools every time a horse shows signs of a skin disorder or on a routine basis, weekly or monthly. Whenever a horse shows signs of a skin disorder, be sure to disinfect and isolate his brushes and tack, so that it does not come in contact with any other horses.

Stride Vs. Step: a stride refers to one complete cycle of all four feet during the gait. For instance, the canter (or lope) is a three beat gait and one stride of the canter includes all three beats (the outside hind, then the inside hind and outside fore as a diagonal pair, then finally the inside fore). A step is the action of one beat during the stride. So one step in the canter stride would be when the leading fore leg moves forward as the final beat of the canter stride.

Are There Thief Horses in Your Barn?

Are There Thief Horses in Your Barn?

By Doug Emerson

At some point, all professional horsemen realize that they can’t keep forever every good horse that ever walked into the barn. Buying and later selling horses is an unavoidable part of the horse business. There is no doubt about it, becoming fond of your horses is a terrific benefit of being in business. However, your affection and familiarity can also be a financial tie down that will ruin your business. It’s not always easy to accept, but the profitable horseman understands that horses in his or her barn are assets; they aren’t pets.

From a business viewpoint, all horses are either appreciating in value or depreciating in value. The horses in your barn are either generating income as: lesson horses, brood mares, stallions, or are inventory for sale. With no revenue or potential revenue source attached, all other horses are ongoing operating expenses. With no revenue offset, the horse becomes a financial dependent on your business’s welfare roll.

Not only is it an operating expense, it is also an opportunity cost. Think about it, if a horse occupies a stall and generates no income or has little or no potential for future income, it is a thief horse. Unlike a horse thief, a thief horse steals your potential to earn profit from the space and resources it occupies. That stall could be used for:
Boarding
Horse for training
Lesson Horse
Brood Mare
A speculation horse “bought right”
An empty stall for attracting the next opportunity
In economic terms, there is an opportunity cost for every decision you make in your equine business. An opportunity cost is defined as the cost of something in terms of an opportunity foregone. Said a different way, unlike Yogi Berra’s classic line, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”, every fork in the road you come upon requires a choice. The road you choose is the path you follow. The road not taken is your opportunity cost since you cannot travel two paths at the same time. Choosing the more profitable path that fits your business vision is the correct choice to make every time.

It’s the right time of year to consider whether or not you have any “thief horses” in your barn and if you do how to find a new home for them. Just like any business, the horse business requires that assets produce revenue. A manufacturer or retailer has the opportunity to mothball equipment and machinery in storage if a future need should arise. The cost of storage is relatively cheap and is a good option to have assets available for future use. Obviously, mothballing your horses in a warehouse is not a choice for the professional horseman. While the manufacturer’s machinery can be put back into service easily with a dusting and a few drops of oil, our equine friends require consistent feeding and care along with conditioning.
What are the solutions for finding a new home for your horses that no longer fill the job intended for them at your farm?
Find a buyer who doesn’t need the performance out of the horse that you are expecting. There are many buyers that don’t need a Ferrari; they’re looking for a Chevy.

Donate the horse to a good home as a companion horse. Even if performance or soundness is an issue, horses with good manners are always in demand as pasture buddies for other horses. Giving away a horse may at first seem to be a poor business practice, but as you analyze the costs of maintenance, instant relief from the expenses is worth the sacrifice of marginal sale proceeds.

Maintain ownership and lease to beginner riders who want to care for and love a horse of their own. The lessee gets the horse she has always wanted; you get some relief from your overhead expenses.

As a business owner, if your assets are non-producing, then it’s up to you to make changes. Undeniably, it’s easy to become emotionally attached to good horses. But, when horses can no longer fill the job description in your equine business plan, the right thing for you to do as a professional horseman is to find a new job for them where they will still be loved and appreciated.

About the Author: Doug Emerson trains, consults and coaches professional horsemen and horsewomen struggling with the business half of the horse business. You can reach him and receive free eblasts by visiting www.ProfitableHorseman.com or by calling (716) 434-5371.

Benefits of the Cross-Under Bitless Bridle

Benefits of the Cross-Under Bitless Bridle

By Dr. Robert Cook

I am proud that my company, The Bitless Bridle Inc. is sponsoring CHA. Our objectives are so compatible that the ‘marriage’ might have been made in horse heaven. For 57 years, I have been a veterinary surgeon and teacher, with a research focus on the horse’s head. Eight years ago, my research spawned a product and I became a salesman. I declare this conflict unashamedly as I know that I am doing more to help horses and riders now than at any previous time.

Before you assume that the product is snake-oil, please read an independent opinion from Dr. Jessica Jahiel’s newsletter archives that contains the quote, “By giving up the use of the bit, you don’t sacrifice any control…” (read)
See also her article “What is this new Bitless Bridle?”.

The cross-under bitless bridle (CBB) is painless and it eliminates the fear and nervousness responsible for most of the hundred or more behavioral problems caused by the bit (click here). Without a bit there is also no impediment to breathing, so the horse performs more willingly and accidents caused by fatigue are less likely. Because a bitless horse can stride in time with its breathing, the gait is more rhythmic and graceful. It is also more efficient because the CBB doesn’t interfere with the energy-saving ‘head bob’. As bits frequently cause painful bone spurs on the bars of the mouth and problems such as headshaking (facial neuralgia), the CBB avoids both of these serious side-effects.

The mode of action of the bridle is simple but subtle. At no time can rein pressure be anything but trivial as it is always well distributed. For signaling to slow or stop, intermittent tension on both reins hugs the whole of the head. The greatest pressure, such as it is, occurs across the bridge of the nose, with less pressure on the chin and cheek, and least pressure on the poll. As seen in the line drawing for steering, tension on one rein (black arrow) nudges one half of the head (white arrows).

The longer stride of the horse translates into greater speed. Obviously, this is of special relevance to the racehorse, but other horses also walk and trot faster. The more energy-efficient stride promotes greater stamina. Freedom from pain allows a horse to focus on the job in hand, engendering confidence and courage. Absence of oral pain means that the horse’s neck is not tense. Consequently, the back too remains flexible and stiff, choppy gaits are avoided. Elimination of bit-induced head shaking allows a horse to perform better in dressage, show jumping and all other disciplines. Removing a steel rod from a sensitive body cavity eliminates a major physiological confusion. A bit triggers dominance of the digestive mode, whereas what is needed in the exercising horse is the respiratory and cardiovascular mode. Problems such as a gaping mouth, protruding tongue, excessive salivation and repeated swallowing are eliminated when the oral foreign body is removed (www.bitlessbridle.com/pathophysiology.pdf).

The key to success with a bitted bridle is ‘good hands.’ The term describes the minimal use of hands and, therefore, the minimal amount of pain. The less a rider depends on hand aids, the more her performance and that of her horse improves. The ultimate of ‘good hands’ is no bit at all. By definition, therefore, the CBB guarantees ‘good hands’ and focuses the rider’s attention on communicating by seat and legs, balance and breathing. It makes for better riders. It also avoids the need for riders to constantly correct a resistant horse. Instead they ride a compliant horse and can foster that harmony and partnership which is the goal of good horsemanship.

The bit – incorrectly viewed as necessary for control – frequently causes loss of control and a host of negative side-effects. For example, bit-induced pain triggers bolting. A horse that defends itself from the bit by placing it between its teeth or under its tongue deprives the rider of all control. Bit-induced problems such as bolting, rearing, bucking, and rushing or refusing jumps, are causes of serious injury to the rider or even sudden death. Bit-induced fear can be the cause of a horse becoming aggressive (biting & kicking) in the stable. A bitted horse may become dangerous at the moment of mounting. Hair-trigger responses to the bit or over-reaction to bit aids are to be avoided in an animal as powerful as a horse.

The CBB is easy to fit, versatile and universal (read more). It can serve as a bridle, lead halter and lunging cavesson. It is usable on all sizes, types and temperaments of horse and by riders of all ages and experience. It is a particular boon for handicapped, young or novice riders as they cannot hurt their horse. Apart from limitations on use of the CBB for certain competitions, currently imposed by FEI rules, there are no contraindications for its use in any discipline.

Grab Hands

“Grab Hands”
It drives me crazy to see people lead a horse by holding onto the halter, instead of using a lead rope. This action is both dangerous and poor horsemanship. Wrapping your fingers around a halter can very quickly and easily turn into a dislocated shoulder, by the horse throwing his head or spooking. Additionally, horses don’t much care for hands in their face and grabbing the horse by the halter positions the handler far too close to the horse’s head and front feet. This close proximity to the horse’s head can lead to claustrophobia on the horse’s part (which may in turn lead to a pull-back problem) and puts the human in a dangerous position which may lead to being butted by the horse’s head or run over. Not to mention how easy it is for the horse to throw his head and get loose. Whenever you handle a horse, use a lead rope and hold the rope 6-8″ below the halter, so as not to crowd the horse’s head and front end.

Who’s in Charge Anyway?

“Who’s in Charge Anyway?”
Julie Goodnight, Master Instructor and Clinician, Poncha Springs, CO

Many people mount up on their horse and no sooner is their seat in the saddle and their foot in the stirrup than the horse just walks off, with no cue from the rider. In short order, the horse, which is by now used to making decisions unauthorized by you, is walking off before you sit down and then when you put the foot in the stirrup to mount. We tend to want to blame the horse at this point: my horse won’t stand still for mounting, when we have effectively trained the horse over time to not stand still for mounting by condoning his unauthorized decisions. A horse should stand perfectly still when you mount, as you adjust the saddle and get settled and should wait for you to actually cue him to walk before he goes any where. Allowing a horse to walk off at any time without a specific cue to walk, is teaching the horse that he can do what he wants, when he wants. When I am teaching a group lesson, I like to explain to the riders that your horse may try to walk off when the horse in front of him walks, but to make him stand until he is patiently awaiting y our signal. This is a great exercise for both the horse and rider. If you ride your horse with awareness and control, he will learn that he has to wait for a directive from you in all things and at all times.

Emergency Dismount

I am the Riding Director at a horseback riding summer camp. Over the winter, I like to go through the program and re-evaluate our policies and procedures. My question is concerning our current emergency dismount. Presently the dismount goes as follows:

1) Make a “butterfly” with your hands so the reins are just resting on your thumbs.

2) Put your hands on your horse’s neck (not touching the saddle)

3) Bring your feet out of the stirrups, swing legs three times and jump off using your horses neck

4) If possible, bring your horse’s reins over his head and hold them (under shanks with right hand, extra rein in left hand)

First off, can you see anything wrong with this dismount? We have been using it for 30 years but, I know that doesn’t automatically mean that it’s right. I am considering changing the last part (#4): Instead of bringing the reins over the horse’s head, leaving them over the saddle horn and holding the reins under the shanks with the right hand. That way, if the horse is spooking, he can run away without getting the person stuck to him, causing rope burn or getting the reins around his legs. I would like to know what you think of my change and of our current emergency dismount. Thank You! Sincerely, Jennifer Willey Hi Jennifer, This is somewhat of a controversial subject. Whereas many of us used to teach the emergency dismount, in the past few years it has gone out of favor. Many people feel (myself included) that you increase the risk of injury to the rider by practicing the emergency dismount and also that it is often better for the rider to remain mounted than to bail off a moving horse. If it is truly an emergency worthy of an emergency dismount, it is probably not a real controllable situation. In my experience, I have seen too many sprained ankles and pulled muscles from practicing it, not to mention the aggravation the horse goes through at being repeatedly mounted. I have also had riders that were far too quick to jump off a moving horse and though I have not had any serious injuries this way, it is only by luck. On the other hand, my son (13 y/o), who is prone to ride bareback and bridle-less out in the pasture, was taught the emergency dismount from GaWaNi PonyBoy (a popular Native American clinician) and uses it frequently. I am very glad that he learned it. PonyBoy teaches the Native American technique of rolling off the horse. I have not seen his presentation on this particular topic, but you might want to check it out. He has a website at www.ponyboy.com. As for the specific question on your technique, the only thing I can see is that we do not recommend that the rider hold onto the reins at all, for the risk is too great of pulling the horse onto you if you lose your balance. While it would be nice if everyone remained in control of their horses, if an emergency dismount is truly warranted, it is likely the rider needs to get away from the horse (a horse being stung by yellow jackets comes to mind). I was glad to see you mentioned taking the feet out of the stirrups and you might want to emphasize it more by making that its own step. It is amazing how often people forget that one really important step. I know of one lawsuit where that was the cause of injury, the rider tried to do an emergency dismount but forgot to take his feet out of the stirrups and suffered a badly broken ankle. It is refreshing to hear of someone improving written policies. Just the fact that you have written policies indicates how well run your program is. Since I spend a great deal of time traveling around the country giving lectures urging professionals to establish written procedures, it is great to hear when people already have them, let alone, updating and improving them! It is a testament to your dedication to safety. Keep up the good work!

Beginning Teacher

I’ve had my certification for about a year now, (English-1, Western-2. Trail-2), but haven’t really taught much, so I am a little intimidated about taking formal students. Foremost, I want my students to be safe. What are some of the most common ways beginner students get into trouble? Also, the facility I’ll be working at doesn’t have an arena yet, but does have designated “arena” areas. Do you have any tips to mitigate that issue? I also want my students to have fun. What are you favorite games for small lessons? Most of my lessons will be individual, and I plan to cap them at three riders. Thanks so much, I appreciate any advice you have.

– Logan

Logan,

Even though you have not had much experience, you must have good communication skills and horse sense if you received Level 2 instructor and trail guide. That tells me that you probably are okay on knowledge and ability, you just need experience to gain confidence. With each lesson that you teach, you will gain this valuable experience.

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “Good judgment comes from experience, and a whole lot of that comes from bad experience,” Mark Twain. This statement is all too true in the horse business. But the fact that you are Level 2 certified leads me to believe you have had enough experience to make good judgments. That’s how beginners get into the most trouble: poor judgment; either on the part of the individual or the instructor.

Part of having good judgment includes using only the safest of horses; having qualified and complete supervision; using safe equipment and inspecting all tack before each use; having safe facilities; developing solid lesson plans; establishing and rehearsing emergency plans; and finally, imagining the absolute worst case scenario that could happen with horses and plan for that contingency.

Honestly, every time I look back on a horse wreck that I was involved in, I can find a way it could have been foreseen or prevented. Of course, the more experience you have, the easier it gets to make good judgments. But if you think it through, you’ll prevent many incidents.

As for your question about the open riding area, it is a lawsuit waiting to happen. CHA standards mandate that riding arenas are of suitable size for the activities performed (which in your case is beginner riding lessons—so you need a minimum of 32 linear feet of rail per horse); with a minimum 3’6” high fence made of wood, plastic or metal; good footing; free of hazards; as level as possible and regularly inspected and maintained. Since you are CHA certified, you have an obligation to uphold these standards because knowingly disregarding them makes you appear to be negligent.

The good news is that although beginner riders must start in a confined area, the space you need to teach a maximum of three beginners is quite small. It is only 96 linear feet of rail; or a square pen of only 24’ X 24’. That’s only 8 twelve foot coral panels and if you found some used panels, it would probably cost you less than $500. Put in a post at each corner (you could even use metal T-Posts if you had to) and you’ve got yourself a beginner arena for small group lessons.

Looking for ways to make your lessons fun, like playing games, it a wonderful idea and it meets the second of the three mandates for a good CHA lesson: Safe, Fun & Effective. There are many ideas on the CHA website (www.CHA-ahse.org) in the Q&A section on how to make lessons fun, including many games. With beginners, the main thing you are teaching them is position and control, so your games should focus on building and reinforcing those skills.

Logan, I am confident that with your commitment to safety and excellence, you are going to be a great instructor and keep your beginners safe. Get your arena in order, make sure your horses and equipment are top notch and keep your eagle eye focused on your students and their safety and before you know it, you’ll be giving advice to other new instructors on how to build a successful lesson business. Good luck!

Teach Conformation

Teaching

Tack Room

I always like to ask my students to evaluate the conformation of the horse they are riding. It makes them think about the horse’s way of going (paces, straightness, and flexion) then we discuss how to improve. It teaches them to think for themselves and to understand and empathize with the horse a little more.

Jennifer Diggle

Sweaty Stinky Saddle Pads

Saddle pads are awkward to store and generally need airing out to diminish the sweaty horse smell that can get oh-so-pungent in the summer. Make a space in your tack room just like a hanging closet in a bedroom, with a hanging bar. The more pads you use, the longer the bar needs to be. Get plastic pant hangers, with the pinch-clamps and you can hang each pad so that it dries and airs out. You can store a huge number of pads in a relatively small space and best of all, you can retrieve any pad on the rack, just like you pick a shirt from your closet.

Julie Goodnight

Herd Management

Horse Lingo

  

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Product Review: Western Safety Stirrups

Product Review: Western Safety Stirrups

By Julie Goodnight

The risk of severe injury or death by dragging from the stirrup of a runaway horse is a serious concern for ride providers and riders everywhere. The risk of getting hung-up in a stirrup exists even when proper footwear is worn, but the risk is greatly increased when riders are allowed to mount in improper footwear such as athletic shoes or sandals.

While CHA standards recommend that ride providers require riders to wear proper footwear, we realize that this is not always an option, particularly for programs dealing with tourists right off the street. Even when proper footwear is required, the risk of dragging still exists, especially when riders wear lace up boots that will not pull off when stuck in the stirrup like a non-lace up boot will.

Saddle Technology Incorporated, of Laurel, Montana has invented and patented a safety breakaway stirrup, which looks just like a high quality Western stirrup and comes in several styles. Invented by a veteran cattle rancher and former PRCA cowboy, Mike McCoy, these stirrups were actually made to protect the professional rodeo cowboy. However, their application to recreational riding programs is perhaps even more significant.bearkaway stirrup

The safety breakaway stirrup is designed to release itself from the stirrup leather when it reaches a 45-degree back angle or a 70-degree forward angle. The back angle would be activated when a horse shies out from under a rider or when the rider is thrown. The forward angle of release is generally activated when a horse falls. Whether the foot is through the stirrup or the toe is wedged in the stirrup, this stirrup will always rotate around the stirrup leather activating the release mechanism.

The mechanism controlling the stirrup release is a spring-loaded pin holding the stirrup in place that fires inward, releasing the stirrup when it hits the predetermined angle of release. A torsion pressure feature restricts the flopping or free-swinging motion of the stirrup at the end of the stirrup leather. This feature will prevent 70% of those situations where the rider’s foot slips out of the stirrup, causing the rider to lose balance and fall.

One of the best features of the stirrup, according to professional riders, is that it will not release under normal riding conditions. Another important safety and financial consideration is the stirrup’s durability. The stirrup is made from high quality, high tensile strength materials and comes with a five-year warrantee. It appears to me that the stirrup could last for the entire useful life of a saddle, with reasonable care.

The stirrups come in three different models to meet the needs of a variety of riders. It is available in an Oxbow style, a roping stirrup and a traditional style western stirrup with a wide footrest. All three styles are available in nylon, leather or rawhide coverings and range in price.

I had the opportunity to test the traditional style stirrup, which would be used for a trail riding operation. The stirrups are very attractive and once on the saddle, there is no indication that it is anything other than a normal high quality stirrup. It rode just like a regular stirrup but with its weight and stability, there is less slipping around on your foot. Fortunately, I did not have the opportunity to be drug or thrown to see how it releases in an emergency situation, but I could simulate the circumstances and it released effortlessly every time when cocked to the release angles. The only downside I could find to the stirrups is that if you throw your saddle on the ground (instead of hanging it from the saddle rack), it could cause the stirrups to release inadvertently. But there is an easy fix for this problem: treat your saddle properly and it won’t happen.

Although the cost may seem a little high at first, it is important to consider the longevity of the product and compare it to the potential cost of an injury or death caused from dragging. It is quite possible that your insurance company would offer a discount if these stirrups are used across the board.

For more information on the STI Safety Breakaway Western Stirrups, contact STI at (406) 248-7331 or www.breakawaystirrups.com.

No Rubbing

No Rubbing
It can be dangerous and annoying when people do not teach their horse to respect the handlers’ space. Do not let a horse rub their head on you after removing their bridle. You can give them a rub on your terms, but allowing them to rub on you shows a lack of respect. I have seen people knocked over when their horse head-butted them after removing the bridle. This can be especially dangerous with children. When handling your horse, do not allow them to come too close into your personal space unless you invite them in. If they get too close, ask your horse to back up or move over. Your horse will start to see you as the leader instead of someone they can literally walk all over.
Tabatha Gullikson – WI

Accidental Frequency

Accident Frequency: What is Normal?

I work for a large lesson/boarding facility – we have about 50 school horses, 50 boarder horses, and a couple hundred students come through each week. I am concerned because we have had a string of pretty nasty falls recently and I am wondering if this is normal for such a large facility or if there is something unsafe happening. Is there an average number of falls that is acceptable for a facility? Is it pure chance whether a fall is minor or requires an ambulance?

Through my work with CHA, I have worked with numerous large program operators (50-100+ school horses; 200-300 students per week) that have virtually zero incident rates. I am not a believer in the statement that falling off and having injuries is just a part of the sport. I believe if you have that attitude then you will have wrecks and injuries.

I am not aware of any statistics that say how many falls or injuries are normal, but I think we should all have a zero tolerance policy. Without question, riding is a risky sport and there is nothing we can do to totally eliminate the inherent risk involved with horses. However, risks can be mitigated and with a serious focus on safety, there will be fewer injuries. Certainly some riding activities are riskier than others, such as jumping, and you would expect a higher fall rate with the riskier activities.

Whether or not there is an injury associated with a fall depends on many factors, however, many people advocate teaching people how to fall by relaxing and rolling into the fall rather than bracing against it. There are many good models for this in martial arts and it may not be a bad idea to address this with your students.

Every time there is an incident, whether someone is hurt or not, there should be an incident report made and careful scrutiny by managers as to how the incident might have been prevented. There are few, if any, freak accidents and almost every incident is preventable in some way. When incidents are reported and reviewed, they become excellent training tools for improving the safety record at the facility.

I have spoken with many instructors that share your frustration in seeing the opportunity to improve the safety record at a facility, but feeling powerless to take action. The best you can do is work within the system and be persistent in making suggestions on how to improve. If you have exhausted this approach and made no progress and you still feel that the safety at the facility is unacceptable, then you may have to consider resigning. If that is the case, you should write down all of your concerns and send them in a certified letter to the owner/manager and/or board of directors. Also send a registered copy to yourself, but do not open it, just save it for your files, in the event that any future litigation arises.

The most important thing is for you to keep your high standards in safety, maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward incidents and injuries and when incidents do occur, always examine them closely and find a way to prevent it from happening again.

Hanging High & Dry

By Julie Goodnight

THE INCIDENT

Cheryl loved Sunday mornings at the barn. If she got there early enough, it was quiet and peaceful, no other boarders to bother her, no dogs and kids running crazy. Some of her best rides happened at this time and a Sunday morning ride was the highlight of her week.

As usual, Cheryl got her mare out, groomed and tack and decided to ride in the arena and do some specific schooling on some of the maneuvers she had been trying to learn. The barn was some distance from the owner’s house and the only other person around was the Charlie, who was in the back barn cleaning stalls. She virtually had the whole place to herself.

There was a little chill in the air this early in the morning so Cheryl was dressed in her favorite barn jacket, a fleece-lined, nylon shell zip-up. After a lovely ride, Cheryl sat on her horse, reflecting on the great things they were achieving. She was riding Western this morning and without thinking Cheryl dropped both feet from the stirrups and vaulted off her horse, as she was accustomed to in the English saddle.

As she swung her leg over the horse’s rump, she leaned forward, snagging the bottom of her jacket on the horn. By the time she realized what had happened, she was already hanging by her jacket from her 15.3 hand horse. Fortunately, Cheryl had done hours of ground work with her mare, so the horse stood perfectly still, even though having a human attached to her and hanging was a new and somewhat disconcerting feeling to the mare.

Cheryl hung for a few moments, with her toes barely able to touch the ground, but not enough to bear her weight. She immediately realized the dangerous predicament she was in and could visualize the outcome, should her mare decide to spook. First she tried to get enough contact with the ground to jump up and release herself; to no avail. Then she tried calling Charlie, yelling repeatedly as loudly as she could; again to no avail. Realizing that she was in an extremely dangerous and precarious position, Cheryl recognized that she was going to have to rescue herself; no one else was coming to her aid. Suddenly she missed the normal hustle and bustle of a regular day at the boarding barn.

Next, Cheryl spied an old bale of hay in the corner of the arena and she toyed with the idea of trying to get her horse to walk over to the hay bale so she could stand on it. But even though Cheryl had done plenty of groundwork with this horse and her manners were impeccable, she was reluctant to ask the mare to move, realizing that once movement began, she might not be able to control it. So she abandoned the hay bale as a possible means of escape.

Then it occurred to Cheryl that if she could unfasten the cinch, the saddle would slide off and release her jacket. She tried and tried to get this accomplished but since she had one hands on the reins to control the horse if she should try to move, and she was not willing to release that grip, she was unable to make any progress with the cinch.

Finally Cheryl realized that she had no way out and she knew that she couldn’t wait forever for someone to appear, sensing that the mare was starting to get impatient. With one last effort, knowing that it could make the difference in whether or not she lived to tell this tale, Cheryl made one last attempt to jump up and clear the jacket from the horn. Miraculously it worked and Cheryl’s’ feet hit the ground solid; she was once again free to stand on her own two feet and she had escaped a near-disaster.

The Analysis

Another crisis averted and lesson learned! It was immediately obvious to Cheryl that her nylon jacket, while great for baseball and other sports, was inappropriate for riding. As she did a little exploring, she discovered that most jackets made for riding horses have snap closures, the purpose of which is to pop open if you get snagged on something; made specifically to avoid the type of problem Cheryl had. Her new favorite riding jacket, purchased later that very day, has snap closures and a gathered waist, to prevent the snag on the horn to begin with.

But there were some other more subtle lessons to be learned from the near-miss incident. Cheryl had to rethink her Sunday morning routine. Perhaps it was better to ride when others were around to come to your aid if needed. On the outset, it didn’t seem like Cheryl was alone and she certainly wouldn’t go out on the trail by herself. But having Charlie in the back barn and the farm owner some 400 yards away in her home, was clearly not enough presence to render her aid if needed. From then on, Cheryl made the commitment to only ride when there was at least one other person in or around the arena.

Although Cheryl was already a firm believer in ground work, now she had a whole new perspective. Her control over the horse from the ground was perhaps the one thing that really kept this from turning into a total disaster. The hours she had spent developing this kind of control over her horse paid off in spades because she had the ability to make her stand perfectly still when it was critically needed. Not all horses would have been so cooperative, especially with a strange thing hanging off them.

Finally, Cheryl’s decision not to ask the horse to move toward the hay bale was very smart. Once you start a horse moving in a situation like that, you would probably lose control. As the horse moved, it is quite likely she would become anxious about the weird thing attached to her and as a horse’s anxiety builds, her desire to move her feet to flee would increase. With limited means to exert control from her precarious position, Cheryl may have ended up being drug around and seriously injured.

There are countless stories about being hung up on the horn of the Western saddle and this one had a happy outcome. Remember when dismounting English or Western to slide down your right hip as you can also rip your breeches on the stirrup keepers in an English saddle.

Editor’s Note: Normally this column includes true stories that have been fictionalized. This article is a true story written in the words of the victim, with editorial assistance from the author… Thank you for sharing stories that will prevent others from being hurt. If you have a story you would like to share, please email it to us at office@CHA.horse

Frivolous Lawsuits and What You Can Do About Them

By Julie I. Fershtman, Attorney at Law

“Can I be sued if I do this . . .?”

People ask me this question all the time, hoping that some special action or precaution will forever insulate them from the burden, aggravation, and expense of a lawsuit. Unfortunately, despite every precaution we take, we live in a society where a person or businesses can be sued for virtually anything. Right or wrong, the fact is that anyone can file a lawsuit against you. Merely because someone has sued you, however, does not mean the case has merit. This article discusses frivolous lawsuits and shares ideas about how to protect yourself and what to do if you are targeted with one.

What is a “Frivolous Lawsuit”?

A weak lawsuit is not necessarily a “frivolous” one. Frivolous lawsuits are typically cases that have no legitimate factual or legal support and are not even based on a good faith argument for the extension or reversal of existing law. Frivolous lawsuits are sometimes brought for an improper purpose, such as to harass someone. Examples of lawsuits deemed frivolous are those sometimes brought by people against the government claiming that the government has no legal authority to assess and collect taxes. “Frivolous” is not always used to describe baseless lawsuits. The term “frivolous” is occasionally used to describe equally baseless defenses that are sometimes asserted in defense of valid litigation.

Fighting Back Against Frivolous Cases

If you have become the target of a lawsuit that you believe is frivolous, you will need to defend yourself effectively. Never assume that a judge will, on his or her own, discover the weaknesses of a case or defense. Consider taking several possible actions. Your options will depend on the applicable law, your litigation budget, and the nature of the case. Here are a few:
Ask the court to dismiss the case. At the appropriate time, you can ask the judge to dismiss the case completely before it ever proceeds to trial. Lawyers call these requests “motions for summary judgment.” In bringing these motions, lawyers will very carefully organize each of the claims in the lawsuit and compare them to the facts and the applicable law. Through this analysis, the motion will explain to the court in writing why the case has no merit and should be dismissed outright.
Demand that sanctions be imposed. Under state and federal court rules, judges have discretion to order the party who brought a frivolous case (or defense) against you and/or that party’s lawyer to pay financial penalties that are sometimes referred to as “sanctions.” In my experience, judges rarely do this, but a few will. Consider making an appropriate request and letting the judge decide.

Seek to recover costs, where allowed by law. Lawyers know that applicable law might allow for taxation of costs through which the winning party can, at a minimum, recover certain costs and expenses from the losing party. The financial benefit might be minimal, since taxable costs tend to be limited in scope to deposition transcript costs, filing fees, or subpoena fees. Nevertheless, you might have the satisfaction of imposing extra expense on the one who wrongly sued you.

Bring a suit or claim for “abuse of process.” If you believe that a lawsuit was brought against you for an improper purpose, you might have a claim of “abuse of process” against the one who sued you. Your lawyer can discuss this with you.

Sue for “malicious prosecution” after you defeat the frivolous case. After you have successfully defeated a frivolous case that was brought against you, you might have a basis to sue the one who brought that lawsuit under the theory of “malicious prosecution.” To bring a valid case for malicious prosecution, however, usually requires proof that the suit you defeated was brought with malice and had no probable cause.

Avoid Liability

To protect yourself against lawsuits of any kind – frivolous or otherwise – you can consider the following:

Liability insurance:

Liability insurance will not prevent lawsuits from being brought against you, and insurance policies cannot protect you against every type of lawsuit. Nevertheless, if your insurance policy provides coverage for a claim or lawsuit against you, the insurer will hire and pay a lawyer to defend you. This would spare you the out-of-pocket expense of hiring a lawyer.

Contracts:

As I have written for many years, well-written contracts can help prevent disputes and lawsuits. Contracts in the equine industry can include sales agency agreements, sales contracts, training contracts, boarding contracts, and liability waivers/releases. Effective contracts can also include “attorney fee” clauses in which the other party agrees to pay your legal fees if a dispute arises (where allowed by law).

This article does not constitute legal advice.
When questions arise based on specific situations, direct them to a knowledgeable attorney.

About the Author: Julie Fershtman, a lawyer for over 20 years, is one of the most experienced Equine Law practitioners in the United States. She has won numerous courtroom victories around the country for her clients. She has drafted hundreds of equine contracts. Contact her at (248) 851-4111, ext. 160, or visit her websites, www.equinelaw.net and www.equinelaw.info. Let Julie Fershtman’s books help you avoid disputes and understand your rights. The books, MORE Equine Law & Horse Sense and Equine Law & Horse Sense, are easy to understand. Order both books on the CHA website shopping cart at www.CHA-ahse.org.

Editor’s Note: Normally this column includes true stories that have been fictionalized. This article is a true story written in the words of the victim, with editorial assistance from the author… Thank you for sharing stories that will prevent others from being hurt. If you have a story you would like to share, please email it to us at office@CHA.horse

Small Arena

By Tonya Rossman

THE INCIDENT

I am well into my second season as a CHA Certified Riding Instructor with much success. The other day I took a 5-year-old for a pony ride on my 12 hand pony inside a 60 x 80 arena at the Community Fairgrounds where I operate. I was leading her around on my pony who will tolerate just about anything, well except moose.

As I was leading the pony around against the rail with a side walker on the right side, I decided to cut across the arena as this was her first ride and she wanted to be close to her parents standing at the end of the arena. Just then we heard a snap and whoosh in the thick alders beside the arena and the pony crow-hopped around to see the tail end of a moose. I was able to get him under control with a good Whoa, but not before the rider lost her balance and slid off the opposite side of me. She had a well-fitted helmet and boots and landed on her side. She was shook up but brushed herself off and got back on. It could have been much worse.

THE ANALYSIS

There are several factors which could have prevented or decreased the chance for this to have happened. Where was my side walker? When the pony spooked, he was trailing along behind the pony with a confused look. Although young, he has done plenty of side walking but he never had to react to a quick incident before. I also did not have a back cinch on the pony saddle, although I have one on order. Also, the alder trees created a safe haven for moose (or anything else) to hide, the pony did not see it but heard and smelt it first. I will have them cleared all the way back to the next property line and choose more experienced side walkers. In addition, although all my lesson horses are gentle, older and have many miles, spooking is always a possibility for any horse or pony. I only put small children on small ponies with their legs at least reaching half-way down for balance. Had she been on my 14 or 15 hand horse and fell, it probably would have been much worse.

About the Author: Tonya Rossman is a CHA Certified Instructor from Haines, Alaska. She runs Small Tracks Stable & Saddlery.

Editor’s Note: Normally this column includes true stories that have been fictionalized. This article is a true story written in the words of the victim, with editorial assistance from the author… Thank you for sharing stories that will prevent others from being hurt. If you have a story you would like to share, please email it to us at office@CHA.horse

Chain Lead Shank Tragedy

By Julie I. Fershtman, Attorney at Law

THE INCIDENT

It was a routine day at the barn and after finishing with her lessons, Karen had some extra time to ride and enjoy one of her own horses, a solid, tried-and-true gelding. After a wonderful ride, Karen proceeded with her normal routine to untack and groom her horse and put him away.

After unbridling the horse, she put on the nylon halter and looking around for a lead shank to lead him back to the barn, all that Karen could find was a shank with a chain. The horse had just been ridden and was tired, so he certainly did not need the chain over his nose for control, but since it was the only lead handy, Karen decided to use it anyway. She ran the snap of the chain through the bottom ring of the halter and snapped it back on itself, doubling the chain, as most people do in order to shorten the chain and make it stronger when the chain is not needed over the horse’s nose or under its chin.

Enjoying the afternoon and savoring the excellent ride she just had on her gelding, Karen walked the horse slowly back toward his stall, deciding to offer him a treat and allow him to graze on the fresh green grass on the way back to the barn. Having used the chain lead shank in this manner dozens, if not hundreds of times before, Karen had no idea that she had created a noose for her horse and by letting him graze, she was setting the trap.

Within a moment of having his head down in the grass, Karen saw the gelding’s hoof in the loop of the chain. In a split second, before Karen could take any corrective action, he ripped his head up and reared; his leg was trapped in the chain and the horse began to struggle.

Tragically, the chain did not break, but the horse’s neck did. The horse could not untangle himself and in his struggle to get free, his neck broke and as he collapsed to the ground, he also broke his hip. Within an hour of their last ride together, Karen held her fine gelding’s head in her lap as he was euthanized.

THE ANALYSIS

Most of us have used chain lead shanks in this manner for years without incident and without thought. I think of how many times I have seen people snapping the end of the chain on the halter and corrected them, making them double the chain up, all the while thinking to myself, “What a geek!” Now I know better.

There are many lessons to be learned from this tragic accident and I am grateful to Karen for having the courage to share it with us so that we can re-assess the things we routinely do.

Obviously with the chain doubled, it is much stronger and when attached to a nylon halter without a breakaway, there is not much that could make either one break. If it is not safe to double the chain and it is not effective to leave it long, then the lesson is, use the right tool for the job. If the chain is not needed over the horse’s nose or under his chin for control, then a regular lead shank should be used.

Another lesson to be learned is that just because there is an accepted way of doing things and/or methods that we have been using for many years without incident, it doesn’t mean it is the best way or that an accident can’t happen. It pays to question everything that we do and consider all the possibilities, even if it seems like a remote chance. Horses have an incredible capacity to hurt themselves on seemingly benign objects.

With horses, it pays to always assume the worst case scenario. If it is possible, a horse will find a way to turn it into a wreck. Whether it seems likely or not, we should always operate based on the worst case scenario and take the necessary actions to prevent the wreck from happening, no matter how remote the chances are.

Breakaways are always a good idea with horses. Whether it is for cross ties, trailer ties, hay bags, reins, water buckets or anything that a horse could possibly get a foot hung up in, it is best if there is something that will break. Even just adding a loop of bailing twine to the object that will give way should a horse struggle is a great device.

A final lesson to be learned is from Karen and it is her selfless act of sharing this story, her courage in admitting her mistakes so that others can learn and her devotion to horses that will help ensure that this kind of tragedy doesn’t happen to another horse. Thank you Karen and I know I, for one, appreciate learning from you.

If you have a story to share that others can learn from that will help keep humans and horses safer, please contact Julie Goodnight at (800) 980-1410 or jgoodnight@CHA.horse .

Editor’s Note: Normally this column includes true stories that have been fictionalized. This article is a true story written in the words of the victim, with editorial assistance from the author… Thank you for sharing stories that will prevent others from being hurt. If you have a story you would like to share, please email it to us at office@CHA.horse

Cart Before the Horse

By Christy Landwehr

THE INCIDENT

Zippy Farms was busy that Saturday afternoon. It was snowing outside, so everyone was in the indoor arena trying to get a ride in. Samantha was driving her new horse around the outside of the rail in her new cart while Carrie was teaching a lesson to an amateur adult rider in the center of the arena on a circle around her. All of the other riders had left the arena when the horse and cart had entered the arena, but Carrie was almost done with her lesson and thought it would be safe in the center of the arena.

As Samantha was driving her new horse and equipment around, the belly band and wrap strap that prevents the shafts from rising up suddenly came disconnected and the cart started to tip. Sam jumped out and hit the arena wall. Then the cart fell over completely and her horse launched into panic mode and started running wildly around the arena with the damaged cart being drug sideways behind it.

Being of herd instinct, the panicked horse thought a safe haven might be with the other horse in the center of the arena, so it started galloping straight for Carrie and her student. Carrie quickly had her student dismount and told her to let go of her horse and run to the arena gate.

THE ANALYSIS

The saddled horse panicked when it saw the horse and cart coming towards it and ran to the other side of the arena. The driving horse ran with it and stopped at the other end of the arena, giving a moment for Samantha to get her horse under control, bringing a rather frightening incident to a close.

Very lucky. In this incident, the only injuries were to Sam’s horse and her equipment. The horse had a few scrapes and bruises from the cart banging on its back legs; the harness and cart were beat up as well. Fortunately, Sam, the other horse and rider and the instructor were fine.

This scenario could have turned out significantly worse. A thorough safety check prior to driving the horse would have revealed the faulty harnessing. This incident illustrates how a wreck with a harness horse can quickly escalate into pandemonium. Safety for harness drivers is of big concern these days and this is one reason why CHA is working to develop a harness driving certification program.

Many saddle horses have never seen a horse and cart before and can become very unnerved by the sight. Not to mention when that cart is tipped sideways and the horse attached to it is panicking.

If at all possible, horses should not be ridden in the same arena as someone practicing driving. Ideally, there should be a separate arena for harnessed horses to work; if not, the arena time should be divided so that harness and saddle horses are not using it at the same time. Also, do not teach a lesson to someone while someone else is driving. The two should be separate activities.

Busy arenas are dangerous places; simple rules should be followed to keep everyone safe. Without a driving horse in the arena, riders should try to track the same direction; if that is not possible then it is necessary for riders to follow the left shoulder to left shoulder rule for passing. Horses working at higher speeds should use the rail while horses walking or cooling out, stay toward the middle. Whatever the arena etiquette is at your facility, it should be taught to all riders and posted in the rules.

You also should not longe a horse in an arena where horses are being ridden. The potential for collision or for someone to run into the longe line is too high. If longeing must occur in an arena where horses are being ridden, make sure that the horse is longed in the direction the riders are going and far enough off the rail for the riders to have plenty of room to work. Follow these simple guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Editor’s Note: Normally this column includes true stories that have been fictionalized. This article is a true story written in the words of the victim, with editorial assistance from the author… Thank you for sharing stories that will prevent others from being hurt. If you have a story you would like to share, please email it to us at office@CHA.horse

Helmet Safety

THE INCIDENT

It was a perfect day for a family picnic out at the ranch, and Kay Silva’s whole family had gathered to enjoy the beautiful fall day in the high desert of southern California. After a delicious lunch and some family fun and games, Katy decided to saddle a couple horses and take her young niece out for a short trail ride.

Katy is an experienced rider, having owned horses and ridden on a regular basis for about 20 years, but her niece is a very novice rider. Katy saddled an older reliable horse for her niece and a younger, less seasoned horse for herself. Although Katy always wears a helmet when she rides, on this occasion she had only brought one helmet and decided that it would be better for her niece, the less experienced rider, to wear the helmet. Fortunately, at the last minute, someone else offered an extra helmet to Katy so she left on the short ride with both riders properly helmeted.

Katy and her niece had an awesome trail ride through sagebrush and red shank trees in the high desert (4,000 ft. elevation). As they were returning back to the ranch, they approached a telephone pole lying across the trail and Katy advised her niece on what to do if her horse chose to jump it. The experienced horse with the novice rider walked gracefully over the pole and Katy congratulated her niece on doing such a great job. All that was left was for Katy to negotiate her greener horse over the pole and then they were home free.

Katy decided to guide her horse around telephone pole instead of over it, since she wasn’t sure if the horse was accustomed to walking over obstacles or would try to jump it. However, just as Katy thought the horse would willingly go off the trail to walk around the obstacle, the horse suddenly veered back and leapt over the pole like a deer. Taken by surprise, Katy was caught off balance and as the horse landed, Katy slammed hard onto the horse’s back, causing the horse to explode into violent bucking fit. Katy felt that there was no way she could get the mare’s head up to recover from the bucking and the mare was bucking so hard that she started to fall. Katy decided to bail off to the left and at the same time the mare gave a buck which somersaulted Katy so that she landed hard on the ground on her helmet, neck, shoulders, and upper back, with the rest of her body flopping over as she hit.

As Katy fell, the horse also fell, scrambled back to her feet, and continued bucking. Katy scrambled quickly out of the way, not knowing that she had suffered a serious injury. Family members had seen the niece’s horse begin to trot back toward the telephone pole, so they were alerted that something had gone wrong. Katy’s brother-in-law arrived just in time to see Katy on the ground and the horse falling.

Katy’s family helped her back to the house and sat her in a gliding rocking chair with a high, straight back since she was complaining that her neck hurt. She thought that she may have suffered severe whiplash and she had the good sense to sit still for a while. Since the pain did not subside, Katy thought it would be best to have a family member take her to the emergency room or nearest fire station, because it didn’t seem serious enough to call 911 just for a sore neck. Luckily for Katy, circumstances changed.

Through a crazy series of events, another person at the ranch was injured about 15 minutes later and was knocked unconscious, so someone called 911 to attend to him. Since a rescue crew was already coming to the ranch, Katy sat and waited for them to check her neck after they had attended to the other injured person. At the hospital, the medical staff were stunned to discover that Katy had broken her neck-fractured C2 in 2 places to be exact– because she showed none of the classic signs that are usually related to a broken neck: loss of consciousness, tingling, loss of feeling or weakness in the limbs, or nausea.

In the hospital, Katy was fitted with a halo that was screwed into her head in 4 places, which she was to wear for three months while her neck healed. The follow-up treatment would include a neck brace for one month and physical therapy to rehabilitate her neck muscles and allow her to move her head again safely. Soon Katy will be released to ride again and she is eager to get back to her horses.

THE ANALYSIS

Katy learned many important lessons from this event that nearly cost her life and she is eager to share the lessons she learned with others. First, she learned not to take things for granted, especially her helmet, since it saved her life and reduced the potential severity of her injuries.

According to Katy, she has learned to, “Make every riding day a Helmet Day…no matter how ‘bomb-proof’ the horse, how soft the ground I will be riding on, how hot the day, how much I may not like having “helmet hair,” or how confident I may feel in my riding abilities. Even though I have always worn a helmet, I now realize that a helmet can make all the difference.”

Other lessons for us all to learn from Katy’s story is to take any injury seriously and deal with it carefully, since we never know what may be damaged. If the mechanism of injury indicates the possibility of damage, treat the person as if the most serious injury possible was sustained.

Katy will soon be healed up enough to get back to riding and she has a brand new helmet, just for the occasion. Katy has been working hard to share her story with riding clubs and youth groups in an effort to promote the use of helmets, “every time, every ride.” We appreciate Katy allowing us to share her story with our members and we hope that you all, in turn, will share this story with your students.

We wish Katy the best of luck and a speedy recovery. If anyone is interested in contacting Katy about sharing her story, please email her at KatyGSilva@aol.com.

Editor’s Note: Normally this column includes true stories that have been fictionalized. This article is a true story written in the words of the victim, with editorial assistance from the author… Thank you for sharing stories that will prevent others from being hurt. If you have a story you would like to share, please email it to us at office@CHA.horse

My Hands are Tied

By Julie Goodnight

THE INCIDENT

A family reunion is an excellent time to share your life with those dearest to you, get caught up on all the news, see how much the kids have grown and kick-back with your family and friends. It is not a good time for a life-threatening injury.

The weekend was perfect with clear, sunny days and crisp, starry nights. Kay was so happy to have her family around her, especially the grandchildren. She loved to spoil the babies and she eagerly waited for the day her first grandson would be old enough to ride. She could teach the grandkids to ride on her push-button, mature gelding, Prince. It was arguable who was more spoiled, the grandchildren or Prince.

The afternoon was perfect for a BBQ and while the coals simmered, the guys played football out in the field, and Kay decided to take Prince for a ride. As she groomed and tacked the gelding, Kay’s daughter-in-law and her grandson wondered up to watch the process. Little Bobby squealed with delight to be close to the horse and clamored to reach the horse’s alluring muzzle, giggling wildly at the feel of the horse’s warm, sweet breath on his face.

The gelding and the grandson were so enchanted with each other that Kay ran back to the house for her camera. After posing for a few shots holding the baby up close to the horse, Kay got the great idea to get a shot of the baby up on the horse, since Prince was already saddled.

Kay was very safety conscious and had done her research on when the grandchildren would be old enough to ride. She knew that the child needed to have the strength to pull a horse’s head up, the coordination to balance and the cognizance to control the horse. She was smart enough to know she could not put the 18-month-old up on the horse by himself since a fall from 8′ off the ground might kill an adult, let alone a toddler. She knew that even though he might be big enough to hold onto the horn and be propped up on the horse, that he wasn’t old enough to be properly fitted in a ASTM approved equestrian helmet; therefore he was too young to ride. Kay also was smart enough to know that it is not safe to ride double with a small child, since in the event of a fall, the chances of you falling on the child and crushing him were unacceptably high.

The baby was just too young to ride and she knew she would have to wait until he was six, but since she already had Prince saddled and he wasn’t going anywhere tied to the rail, it would be easy enough for her to step up on the horse and hold the baby for a quick shot that would be a family memento for generations to come. Baby’s first ride.

With only the baby’s mother to shoot the picture and no one to hold the horse, Kay decided to leave the gelding tied up to the hitching rail where he had been standing for the last hour, while she hopped on for a quick snap of the shutter.

Kay sat with her young grandson cradled in both arms and as she sucked in her stomach and put on her best smile for the camera, the horse bowed his back in two and started bucking like a bronc and squealing like a stuck pig, while tied up to the hitching rail.

Kay was propelled form the horse with the second kick of the heels and flew off at a great velocity, thrown even higher into the air, with a death grip on her grandson. The gods were with them that day because Kay was able to cushion the fall for the baby who was totally unhurt; suffering only from the indignity of having his first ride also be his first buck-off.

For Kay, it was a different story. The fall broke her back; two vertebrae broke clear in two. Again, the guardian angels were watching that day and Kay suffered no spinal cord impairment. She was properly treated at the scene, not moved and stabilized until the paramedics arrived to put her on a back-board. Xrays revealed her fate and she would spend the next three months flat on her back in a body cast. Thankfully, she had full movement and feeling in all extremities.

THE ANALYSIS

This incident involves some cardinal safety issues:

Never mount a tied horse
Never mount a horse without the means to control him
Never ride double with small children
Riding is not a safe or appropriate activity for very young children
It is never safe to mount a tied horse. We have all seen what happens when horses are startled and pull back in a panic attack. Every tied horse is capable of this behavior. Anything could spook the horse or trigger a panic attack and whether the halter breaks, the post breaks or the horse remains tied; you would be at extreme risk of injury or death to be mounted on a horse fighting the tie. The chances of the horse falling on you or slamming you into a wall, fence or tree are huge.

It is not safe to do anything unusual to a horse when he is tied, for the fear of causing the panic attack that ensues when a horse feels the need to flee and suddenly discovers that flight is not an option. The pullback episode is dangerous enough to people on the ground around the horse; being on the horse’s back would be a nightmare. The risk of injury to the horse in any pull-back episode is equally high.

We will never know what caused Prince to pitch a bucking fit at that moment; perhaps it was something about the saddle or perhaps he was sick and tired of standing there. The point is, horses are unpredictable, so you have to plan for the worst-case scenario and always keep yourself in a safe position.

For similar reasons, it is never safe to get on a horse without the means to control him. You need the reins or a mecate in hand to deal with any situation that may occur such as spooking, to running off or bucking. Even if someone is holding the horse for you, it is foolish to get on a horse with no means to control him. There is no one I trust enough to hold a horse for me while I mount without reins.

Considering the possibility that at any moment my horse could spontaneously combust, I’ll take reins every time. And while I may not need the reins at every moment I am on the horse, I’ll still keep one hand on the reins all the time, just in case I might suddenly need them. By the time I have grasped and fumbled to pick up the reins, my ride could be over.

As mentioned in the story, riding double with small children could be a death trap for the child. Even if the fall does not hurt him, the weight of the adult rider could crush him or ram him into a solid object, like the ground. Also, a rider needs his or her hands to communicate with and control the horse; holding onto a child seriously impairs the rider’s ability to influence the horse. The point is, at any moment a horse can trip and fall down, spook, bolt or become difficult to control. It is not worth the risk to the child for an activity that the child will not really benefit from.

Young children really do not mix well with horse sports. CHA is constantly asked to recommend a minimum age for a child to ride. We specifically do not publish a number because there are so many mitigating factors that influence this decision, like the staffing, the horses and equipment, the environment, the programming and the purpose for riding. For example, the potential for benefit in therapeutic riding may well exceed the potential for harm when specialized equipment, specially trained horses and knowledgeable and experienced professionals are employed.

Every riding operation should have a written policy on the eligibility of riders, which is determined by all of the factors listed above (this is a safety standard published by CHA). The eligibility policy should always include a minimum age, among other factors such as maximum or minimum weight, minimum height (sometimes height is used as a determining factor rather than age, since height cannot be lied about), physical capabilities needed, etc.

In my position as program director for CHA, I have the opportunity to be familiar with the polices and procedures of many large riding operations, a lot of which are virtually “incident free.” In general, I have found that the most common minimum age is 10 years old for trail riding, 8-10 for group arena lessons and 6-7 for private lessons. Children five and under should only be considered for riding with extreme caution.

There are also the individual characteristics of each child that would influence the decision on when he or she is old enough ride; such as size and strength, attention span, endurance, ability to follow directions, eye-hand coordination, maturity and desire, just to name a few.

It is easy to get over-eager to introduce a young child to riding, in the hopes that she will learn to share your passion and be a young protégé. The reality is that there is little to gain by introducing a child too young to riding; and there is much to lose.

As it turns out, Kay did her three months penance flat on her back, followed by intensive physical therapy and about six months later she was able to get on her horse again and now she is riding normally. She learned some important lessons about safety around horses and she is in no hurry to put her grandson back up on a horse, until he is ready to takes the reins, so to speak.

Editor’s Note: Normally this column includes true stories that have been fictionalized. This article is a true story written in the words of the victim, with editorial assistance from the author… Thank you for sharing stories that will prevent others from being hurt. If you have a story you would like to share, please email it to us at office@CHA.horse

Tim Davis with Zero Egg Count – Test Before You Treat – The Right Way to Deworm Your Horse

(February 2020)  Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is excited to offer a webinar with Tim Davis from Zero Egg Count on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 11 a.m. PT, Noon MT, 1 p.m. CT and 2 p.m. ET. Those attending the webinar live will have an opportunity to ask questions. It will also be recorded for those who are unable to make it at the scheduled time.

The webinar is open for anyone to register. For CHA members the cost is only $20 and will count as one hour of continuing education. (CEUs) Those certified through CHA must earn 25 hours of CEUs every three years to keep their certification current. For those wishing to access the webinar, but are not CHA members, the cost is $40. You can register for the webinar here.

To view a complete list of horsemanship and equine business webinars available through CHA click here.

Zero Egg Count is an Equine Healthcare company offering diagnostic equine parasite test kits and laboratory services that provide information about your horse’s worm burden and the effectiveness of your deworming program. Zero Egg Count’s mission is to make fecal testing your horse easy and affordable. Zero Egg Count’s inexpensive mail-in equine parasite test kits use a non-invasive collection process that is quick and easy to follow. Each kit includes everything you need to collect and safely ship your horse’s fecal sample to Zero Egg Count’s laboratory. Zero Egg Count’s lab is staffed with professional laboratory technicians using the most accurate and sensitive fecal egg count testing methods recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) for parasite testing.

Zero Egg Count Equine Parasite Test Kits provide vital information about your horse’s worm burden and the effectiveness of your deworming program. Zero Egg Count Parasite Test Kits are sold through e-commerce sites, catalogs, and retailers, and are available to trainers, barns, veterinarians and horse owners across the United States. The kits can be used on all horses regardless of age or breed. Each kit contains all the materials you need to test a single horse. Multi-packs and Barn Kits are also available for multiple testing environments. https://zeroeggcount.com/

Tim Davis, along with his wife, Diane, three dogs, and several barn cats, own and operate a boarding, training and retirement care facility for over 30 horses in the Midwest. One of their areas of focus has been successfully retraining “off-the-track Thoroughbreds” for new meaningful carriers. Close to a decade ago, Tim and Diane struggled to implement a comprehensive parasite control program and thought there had to be a better, less expensive, less confusing way to test and treat horses for parasites. So over the next few years, Zero Egg Count evolved. Tim and Diane’s current Test-Before-You-Treat Parasite Control Program has successfully lowered their herd’s average fecal egg count results over time. Zero Egg Count is Tim’s second venture into the world of laboratory testing. Tim previously founded and sold a successful microbiology testing business.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and video safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse.

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CHA Seeking Equine Experts as Speakers for the 2020 CHA International Conference

(January 2020) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is seeking experts within the horse industry as speakers for the 2020 CHA International Conference. Part of CHA’s mission is providing quality continuing education within the horse industry, and the annual international conference is CHA’s ultimate learning opportunity. The 2020 CHA International Conference is scheduled for October 30 – November 1, 2020 at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. Speakers at this event include riding instructors, horse trainers, barn managers, veterinarians, equine behaviorists, farriers, saddle fit specialists, equine association representatives, business consultants, and other equine professionals. Those wishing to attend the conference should Save the Dates.

If you would like to speak, CHA is now accepting speaker applications for classroom-style lectures, roundtable and panel discussions, hands-on horse demonstrations, and mounted riding sessions (using Parsons Mounted Cavalry school horses) with attendees who sign up on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sessions at the CHA International Conference are focused on safe, effective, and fun horsemanship.

CHA is all-breed and all-discipline organization. The audience at the CHA International Conference includes riding instructors, trail guides, barn managers, driving and vaulting coaches, horse owners, riders, and general horse enthusiasts. Attendees can sign up to ride well-trained school horses provided by the Texas A&M Parsons Mounted Cavalry. CHA members and non-members alike attend as the conference is open to the public with prior registration.

Those wishing to speak should contact CHA at 720-857-9550 or clandwehr@CHA.horse. The deadline is March 2, 2020. Those applying to speak will need to send a professional biography paragraph, a photo, and a session title and paragraph description, along with anything needed to fulfill your session.

More information about the CHA International Conference can be found here. Additional information will be added online throughout the year, including the full line-up of speakers and sessions.


CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit
www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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New Resources to CHA YouTube Video Collection

(January 2020)  Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has expanded its educational offerings on its YouTube channel again. These free resources are great for all ages and experience level to watch and expand their knowledge and while keeping a focus on safety. Viewers can watch all the videos, which cover a variety of topics and range from three to 15 minutes in length by clicking on the links below.

The newest additions cover the following topics:

Past topics covered include Sample Lesson: First Trot, Lengthening and Shortening Horse’s Strides, Truck and Trailer Safety Check, Showmanship Tips, How to Pony a Horse Safely, How to Fit a Rope Halter, and much more.

CHA encourages the horse industry and the public to use these free videos and to embed them on their websites for their clients. CHA’s videos are created with the goals of helping to spread the CHA’s mission of safe, effective, and fun horsemanship.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and Horsemanship Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse.

Certified Horsemanship Association Seeking Advertising Sales Representative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or clandwehr@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Seeking
Advertising Sales Representative

(November 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is seeking an Advertising Sales Representative. The Ad Sales Representative would report to the CHA Chief Executive Officer and is a part-time 1099 contracted position. The Ad Sales Representative would sell advertisements on behalf of CHA for a variety of projects, including The Instructor annual magazine, the CHA International Conference Program, the CHA monthly podcast, monthly CHA e-newsletters, horsemanship safety videos and more.

Applicants should have experience selling ads within the equine industry, have his or her own contacts within the industry and be willing to generate a leads list. Some leads will be provided. CHA is seeking a detail-oriented self-starter who will work remotely from a home office. The applicant must have their own working computer, Internet, phone, etc.

This position is a commission-only position with no base salary and is a 1099 contracted position. Commission ranges from 10% to 30% depending on if it is a new advertiser or repeat business. To apply for the position, please email a resume, cover letter, and references to Office@CHA.horse with “Ad Sales Job” in the subject line.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and Horsemanship Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse .

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Julie Goodnight CHA Webinar on Helping the Timid Rider Conquer Goals

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For More Information and Photos

Contact: 720-857-9550 or office@CHA.horse

Julie Goodnight Doing a Certified Horsemanship Association Webinar on Helping the Timid Rider Conquer Goals

For Immediate Release –November 22, 2019 – Lexington, KY – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is excited to offer a webinar with Julie Goodnight on Wednesday, December 11 at 1 p.m. EST. During the webinar, Julie will be discussing how to help the timid rider conquer their horsemanship goals. Those attending the webinar live will have an opportunity to ask questions. It will also be recorded for those who are unable to make it at the scheduled time.

Julie is known for her popular TV series, Horse Master with Julie Goodnight, that aired on RFD-TV for eleven years. She is a spokesperson for CHA and holds the highest level of certification within the association – Master Clinic Instructor. Julie writes articles, conducts a monthly podcast, and still travels both domestically and abroad to teach horsemanship.

The webinar is open for anyone to register. For CHA members the cost is only $20 and will count as one hour of continuing education. (CEUs) Those certified through CHA must earn 25 hours of CEUs every three years to keep their certification current. For those wishing to access the webinar, but are not CHA members, the cost is $40. You can register for the webinar here.

To view a complete list of horsemanship and equine business webinars available through CHA click here.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and video safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse.

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Certified Horsemanship Association Announces Cyber Monday Deals and Giving Tuesday

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For More Information and Photos

Contact: 720-857-9550 or office@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Announces Cyber Monday Deals and Giving Tuesday

For Immediate Release –November 22, 2019 – Lexington, KY – In a season known for shopping and once-a-year deals, the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is thrilled to participate in the festivities by offering two incredible Cyber Monday deals.

Current CHA members will have the ability to take advantage of the two following deals:

  • CHA members can purchase one copy of The CHA Equine Professional Manual: The Art of Teaching Riding for only $27.95! Retail is $69.95.
  • CHA members can buy one copy of CHA Standards for Equestrian Programs for $15! Retail is $39.95

Not a member of CHA? Not a problem you can still take advantage of deals on both publications. Non-members can purchase one copy of The CHA Equine Professional Manual: The Art of Teaching Riding for $37.95 and one copy of CHA Standards for Equestrian Programs for $19.95. When placing your order be sure to put “Cyber Monday” in the comment box in order to receive the discounted rate.

Bookmark the CHA store, which can be found here, and mark your calendars for Monday, December 2, 2019 so you don’t miss out!

And please don’t forget that CHA is a 501(c)3 non-profit membership association. So if you are looking for a year-end tax write off, please think about CHA on Giving Tuesday, December 3, 2019 by clicking here to donate! Thank you for your support.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and video safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

 

2019 CHA International Conference Celebrates Horses and Safety

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Contact: 720-857-9550 or office@CHA.horse

2019 CHA International Conference Celebrates Horses and Safety

For Immediate Release – October 31, 2019 – Lexington, KY – Without horses there would be no reason for the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) so it is only fitting that an outstanding horse be honored as the Stone CHA Horse of the Year. To commemorate such an outstanding honor the winning horse receives a Stone Horse model, replicated to match the honoree, created by Peter Stone Company and a hand painted oil painting from CHA member Julie Fischer from Colorado with bark from her camp as the frame.

Earning the title of 2019 Stone CHA Horse of the Year was Smut, a 33-year-old mare owned by Dream Catcher Sables in Spring, TX. Described by some of her riders as “she has always known to be careful and moves smoothly, listens well and never gets spooky. She is just a wonderful horse and richly deserves to be school horse of the year” and “She is a magnificent horse. She has won me two belt buckles in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Top Hands Horse Show.” She is named after a fungus that grows on corn in the Midwest that is the same color as she is!

Sanna Rolling, who runs Dream Catcher Stables, had this to say when asked about Smut being the award recipient, “To own a horse that touches so very many lives and at the age of 33 in semi-retirement is still herd boss is awesome. This is the second time we have had the CHA Horse of the Year (Smokey in 2008). With the vast number of CHA program members, I never thought we could win twice.”

The CHA Stone School Horse of the Year Program honors the best of the school horses who are part of CHA member programs. The longtime sponsor of the program, Stone Horses, creates “model horses for real horse people.” Each equine finalist receives a plaque from CHA and were also honored at the Awards Banquet. The top five finalists included:

  • Bambi from Clover Ten Thirty in Santa Rosa, CA
  • Ginger from Methow Valley Riding Unlimited in Winthrop, WA
  • King from Big Bear Horsemanship in Gettysburg, PA
  • Onyx from West Equestrian in Sand Springs, OK
  • Smut from Dream Catcher Stables in Spring, TX

Horses aren’t the only key to CHA and its mission though. Safety is top priority when it comes to every interaction with horses. Earning the 2019 Partner in Safety Award was Pegasus Farm in Hartville, OH. The program at Pegasus Farm has over 130 volunteers, 500 students, has been a CHA Program member since 1995, and an accredited site since 2012. To date they have held 17 CHA certifications including Standard English/Western, Equine Facility Manager, Instructors of Riders with Disabilities and Vaulting.

Nominators described the program at Pegasus Farm as “They are so professional and safety conscious. I enjoyed the facilities, horses and staff there. They provide a vast array of services for the special needs community” and “The staff, volunteers, students and horses made an exceptional impact, not only on my career as an instructor, but on my LIFE!”

For a complete list of past award winners, visit www.cha.horse/store/pages/50/Award_Winners.html. For more information about the next CHA International Conference, please visit www.CHA.horse/conference.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the equine industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs, webinars and video horsemanship safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

 

Deserving Award Winners Honored at the 2019 CHA International Conference in New York

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Contact: 720-857-9550 or office@CHA.horse

Deserving Award Winners Honored at the 2019 CHA International Conference in New York

For Immediate Release – October 30, 2019 – Lexington, KY – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) members, instructors, and speakers gathered in Houghton, New York October 24-27 to participate in the yearly CHA International Conference. During the three days attendees engaged in networking, expanded their knowledge over a variety of equine topics, and honored the highly anticipated award winners.

The first award recipient to be honored during Friday night’s banquet was the 2019 CHA Volunteer of the Year. The coveted award that recognizes the countless hours and dedication CHA volunteers spend changing lives through safe experiences with horses went to Aimee Edwards from Waco, Texas. Amy has been a member since 1996, was certified in 1997, became a standard English/Western Clinician in 2011 and an Equine Facilities Manager in 2017. Those nominating Aimee for this award described her as “a dedicated professional” and that “She runs a wonderful facility and is liked as well as respected by her staff.” Others went on to say, “This person goes above and beyond to help CHA not only as a host site coordinator, an instructor, and a clinician for us, but also putting our monthly eblast together and sending it out each month.”

CHA Certifiers are vital in order to continue growing the association and accomplishing our mission. The CHA Certifier of the Year Award is reserved for someone who has shown outstanding service to CHA by conducting meaningful certifications and influencing the careers of equine professionals over many years. This year’s award was given to Andrea Richardson from Brantford, Ontario. Andrea became a CHA member and certified instructor in 2004 and later became a certifier in 2006. Described as “a strong advocate for training staff and running safe programs” and “she is very invested in setting people up for success and encouraging confidence in certification participants” it is easy to see how she was chosen as the award recipient.

Often described as the life blood of the association, individual certified instructors undoubtedly play a key role in the success of the association and its mission. Earning the title of 2019 CHA Instructor of the Year was Celia Bunge from the Miami International Riding Club in Miami, Florida. Nominated by her students and recognized by her peers this year’s winner was described as fair, consistent, hard-working, and empathetic. Other descriptions included things such as, “what makes her stand out is her amazing ability to adapt to each rider’s needs, while processing the gift to read and anticipate each horse’s behavior” and “She loves the horse first and the sport second. She is a confidence builder in us all.”

After receiving her award Celia had this to say, “I would not have ever imagined that I could be the recipient of such extraordinary recognition.  I promise to keep on going, striving for excellence and safety in our sport.  Working hard to make horses a part of more and more people, because horses truly transform lives.  They have transformed our lives, and they have introduced us to so many amazing and good people like yourself, and to groups and organizations that exemplify what service to others really looks like.”

The CHA Distinguished Service Award is a lifetime achievement award for an individual who has gone above and beyond through the years promoting and upholding the mission of the association. Throughout the years the 2019 recipient, Susanne Valla from Mocksville, North Carolina, has worked tirelessly on a wide variety of CHA projects including serving on the board, committees, and in executive offices for many years. Described as a mentor for many new board members and clinic staff over the years her leadership abilities are undeniable. She also used her artistic talents to designs many of CHA’s manuals and our logo and is known for her knowledge of the association and its history.

Susanne, a CHA Life Member, has been involved with CHA since 1978. A past president of the board, she served on the board of directors through 2011. She has been a clinician since 2011 and has conducted 31 certifications as of this year.

For a complete list of past award winners, visit www.cha.horse/store/pages/50/Award_Winners.html. For more information about the next CHA International Conference, please visit www.CHA.horse/conference.

CHA Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the equine industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs, webinars and video horsemanship safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

 

Certified Horsemanship Association Welcomes New Board Members for 2020

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Contact: 859-259-3399 or office@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Welcomes New Board Members for 2020

(For Immediate Release – October 29, 2019 – Lexington, KY) The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) welcomed four new board members at the 2019 CHA International Conference held at Houghton College near Buffalo, New York. Joining the CHA Board of Directors are Jessica Hersey, Kristin Jaworski, Katrina Lechlitner, and Amanda Reardon. Candidates for the board seats were introduced and voted on during the general membership meeting.

Jessica Hersey, from Gettysburg, PA, is a CHA Lifetime member and a Master Instructor/Assistant Certifier. Her skill set includes over 20 years of teaching and training in addition to prior board experience. She is the former Vice President and Board of Directors member for the Maine Cowboy Mounted Shooters, and Vice President/Outreach Officer of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Hampshire. Involved in many different areas of the equine industry she has held memberships in the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, Cowboy Sports Association, United Mounted Shooters, Mustang Heritage Foundation, FN Verlag, US Equestrian Federation, American Youth Horse Council, IHSA, state chapters, and regional clubs. Jessica has also earned two business degrees and is currently completing a Master of Education in Equestrian Education from William Woods University.

Kristin Jaworski, from Fort Worth, TX, is the Director of the Fort Worth Herd where she manages and directs the world’s only twice daily longhorn cattle drive. She grew up raising mules and horses in northern Arizona and later graduated with her Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership from Tarleton State University. Since 2002 she has expanded all aspects of The Herd, including educational programs, facility operations, and horsemanship to support the economy and raise awareness of western heritage.

Kristin was introduced to CHA through The Herd program and is now a CHA Certified Instructor. When asked what she was looked forward to the most she said it was to be more involved in the association to inspire people and generate awareness and excitement for those who want to explore their dreams with horsemanship.

Katrina Lechlitner, from Reed City, MI, grew up very active in the American Quarter Horse Association and has been at SpringHill Camps as Ranch Director since 2005. She is a CHA Certified Instructor and has been involved in a 4-H Horse Leaders Group for the past 5 years. Katrina became certified when she joined SpringHill Camp and continues to use CHA as a resource, not only for herself, but SpringHill as an organization, local 4-H Extension, and others seeking a starting point.

Katrina had this to say about joining the CHA Board of Directors, “My desire to be involved on the board is because safe, positive experiences with horses is important to me and I continue to let that lead my decisions in my own career and the areas I volunteer. Secondly, I value education and creative presentation of information to students and leaders. The access to resources and continued education builds stronger programs. Lastly, I understand that building a base of individuals who will continue to represent CHA with the esteem that I have come to respect is important to move forward during the next 50 years!”

Amanda Reardon, from Lexington, KY, started her riding career over 20 years ago as a young pony clubber, advancing over the years to competitive riding with high school and college teams. At 18, she became a CHA Certified Horseback Riding Instructor. Amanda has worked as a teaching assistant for the University of Kentucky’s Equine Handling courses, taught lessons and camps at a Lexington lesson farm, and has spent time working in the Thoroughbred breeding industry. Earning a degree in Equine Science/Management and a minor in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky she joined the Kentucky Horse Park staff immediately following graduation where she manages the Equine Education Department.

In her time at the Kentucky Horse Park Amanda has developed, planned, and executed four years of summer camps and teaches over 100 children every summer. She also started and runs the first riding lesson program at the Park. Amanda recently earned her CHA Master Level Certification and is moving forward with her education and practices to earn her CHA Clinician status. She envisions hosting clinics at the park once again, as they were held when she started her involvement with CHA in 2011.

Returning CHA Board members include: Hayley Eberle, Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, Oklahoma City, OK; Teddy Franke, Camp Morrow, Pine Hollow, OR; Susan Garside, YMCA Camp Noah, Canal Fulton, OH; Beth Long, YMCA, Kentucky; Katie Reynolds, American Quarter Horse Association, Amarillo, TX; and James Rickner, Champ Chippewa, KS.

The CHA Executive Board consist of: President Tammi Gainer, Pegasus Farm and PATH International, Alliance, OH; President Elect Dr. Bob Coleman, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; Vice President of New Initiatives Anne Brzezicki, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, Murfreesboro, TN; Vice President of Regional Relations Jennifer Eaton, Interscholastic Equestrian Association, Groveland, MA; Secretary Elizabeth Duffy, Camp America, Eatonton, GA; Treasurer Terry Williams, Blanchester, OH; and Past President Beth Powers, YMCA and American Camp Association, Bellefontaine, OH.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

 

Sponsorship Opportunities for CHA’s Popular Safety Short Videos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or
clandwehr@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Offers Sponsorship Opportunities for CHA’s Popular Safety Short Videos

(September 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) offers a unique sponsorship advertising for companies wishing to reach horse enthusiasts who love to watch YouTube videos about horsemanship and horse care and management. CHA produces educational videos called CHA Safety Shorts on a range of equine-related topics, such as how to groom a horse, how to saddle a horse with an English or Western saddle, how to adjust a bit, reading horse behavior, how to hitch up a horse trailer, etc. Sponsors can be featured within these professionally produced instructional videos, which can then be featured on your company website or social media. To see an example of a sponsored video, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-g5wzk-W8o.

This year’s videos will include the following topics: hitching a horse up to drive, lunging a horse safely, the horse’s digestive tract, and simple lead changes. This year’s videos will be recorded on October 27. Therefore, all sponsors must book their sponsorship before that date.

For $500, sponsorship includes video production, talent, promotion, your product prominently featured in the video, and hosting on the CHA YouTube channel and on the CHA website under the Education tab. To see the full list of topics that have been produced by CHA over the years, please visit the CHA Safety Shorts Playlist on YouTube.

For more information on all of CHA’s advertising options, rates, and ad specifications, the CHA Media Kit can be found online at www.CHA.horse/advertise. To book your ad space, or for questions, please contact Christy Landwehr at clandwehr@CHA.horse.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies riding instructors, equine facility managers and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and free video Horsemanship Safety Shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit our online member database at www.CHA.horse

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CHA’s Horse Radio Show Positive Reinforcement, Successive Approximation, Leg Yielding, Side Passing, Along with Protequus LLC as Sponsor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or clandwehr@CHA.horse


Certified Horsemanship Association’s September Radio Show Will Discuss Positive Reinforcement and Successive Approximation and Leg Yielding and Side Passing, Along with Protequus LLC as Sponsor

(September 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association’s (CHA) September episode of Training Tuesdays on “Horses in the Morning” will again feature two speakers from the upcoming 2019 CHA International Conference—CHA Certified Instructors Marla Foreman and Val McCloskey. Both speakers will be presenting at the 2019 CHA International Conference, scheduled for October 24-27 at Houghton College in Houghton, New York. The topics to be covered will be on “Positive Reinforcement and Successive Approximation in Teaching” and “Leg Yielding and Side Passing.” The Horse Radio Network’s Glenn the Geek and CHA CEO Christy Landwehr will also speak with this episode’s sponsor, Protequus LLC, makers of Nightwatch halters, which are an equine distress and wellness monitor. The show will air September 17, 2019, at 10 a.m. Eastern Time and will also be available via digital download.

During the CHA conference, Foreman, will present “Using Positive Reinforcement/Successive Approximation in Teaching” on Friday, October 25, at 10:30 a.m. Foreman is a CHA Master Instructor, a United States Pony Club National Examiner, and is certified with the United States Eventing Association Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP). She is also a primary level TAG (teaching with acoustical guidance) teacher. For 20 years, she managed her own training stable in Washington state, where she taught riders of all levels and trained horses for clients, while also managing her own equine-only veterinary practice. Her specialties are dressage and eventing, but she has also competed in endurance and cow penning aboard horses she has trained. In 2000, she began studying behavior science and positive reinforcement training. She currently teaches clinics and works with clients and their horses on positive reinforcement in Massachusetts.

McCloskey will present “Leg Yielding and Side Passing” on Friday, October 25, at 3 p.m. She is a CHA Assistant Clinician and Master Instructor. As the owner of Whisper Wind Equestrian Centre and VLM Dressage and Sport Horses in Rome, NY, McCloskey trains and teaches clinics. She is a USDF Silver and Bronze medalist, which she achieved on horses she trained herself, and is working toward her USDF Gold medal. In addition, she is a USDF L Graduate with Distinction. Her specialty is in horse-and-rider biomechanics and showing people the hows and whys of how the rider’s body affects the horse.

Jeffrey R. Schab, Founder and CEO of Protequus, is an accomplished equestrian and biomedical engineer with 15 years of experience in human health care. He founded and operated one of the largest privately held medical marketing firms in the U.S. In 2013, after he suddenly lost one of his horses to colic, he was driven to make a difference for other horse owners. He assembled a team of passionate science and technology professionals to combat the problem of colic, which causes loss of life for more than 60,000 horses every year in the United States. The solution was the Nightwatch halter, a warning system using a smart halter that alerts caretakers to early signs of colic and distress by the horse, such as with foaling or being cast.

Anyone wanting to listen to past CHA “Horses in the Morning” episodes can find the archive on the CHA website.

More information about the CHA International Conference and the full schedule of events, presentations and speakers, can be found online.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies riding instructors, equine facility managers and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and free video Horsemanship Safety Shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit our online member database at www.CHA.horse

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Advertise to Riding Instructors, Equine Facility Managers, Camp Directors, and Other Professionals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: CHA Office
859-259-3399 or
office@CHA.horse

Companies Wanting to Advertise to Riding Instructors, Equine Facility Managers, Camp Directors, and Other Professionals Can Do So in the 2020 Certified Horsemanship Association Magazine; Book Your Ads Early

(September 2019) – To reach an audience of equine industry professionals who are in charge of purchases for riding lesson programs, equine facilities, horseback riding camps, and a whole host of equine businesses, advertising in a membership publication like the Certified Horsemanship Association’s (CHA) official magazine, The Instructor, makes perfect sense, and cents. CHA offers ads at a range of sizes for great rates, and readers are influencers within the horse industry as instructors, farm owners, camp directors, etc.

The majority of instructors teach more than 100 people in a group riding program environment. CHA instructors teach between 25 and 1,000 students per year, so the reach goes well beyond the CHA membership. CHA Certifications include English and Western instructors, college and university staff, seasonal equestrian staff, equine facility managers, vaulting coaches, day ride trail guides and overnight and wilderness guides, and driving instructors and those who drive horses. And as the largest certification program for horseback riding instructors in North America, CHA has more than 3,500 instructors and equine facilities, all who have between two and 250 horses on site. That is a wide swath of the horse industry to reach, and a lot of horses that need your horse products and services.

“As a riding instructor, horse trainer, college equestrian program director and horse show judge for many decades, I realize that equine and equestrian products need to fit the needs of the user,” said Jo-Anne Young, Assistant Professor of Equestrian Studies at Houghton College in New York. “Bottom line: you need quality in materials and workmanship to get good, enduring value. That is what I look for in products I use, and that is how I train my students and clients to shop.”

The Instructor is published every spring. It is a full-color publication that includes CHA news and updates, informative and engaging features, and the CHA Annual Report. More than 4,500 issues are distributed to all CHA members and available at the CHA International Conference and other trade shows and events attended by CHA representatives. Ad spaces range from 1/6th-page ads to full-page ads. Now is the time to book ad space in CHA’s official publication, and don’t forget to ask about premium placement on the inside front cover, inside back cover, and on the back cover, because those spots are first-come, first-served.

In addition, those who advertise in both The Instructor magazine and the 2020 CHA International Conference Program will receive 20% off on a conference program ad of any size. The program, which is printed in black and white, will be published for attendees of the 2020 CHA International Conference, which will be held in October 30-November 1, 2020 at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.

Book your ad space in the full color The Instructor magazine by mid-February 2020! Ad materials are due by the end of February. In addition to CHA’s amazingly low rates, CHA Individual and Program members receive discounts on advertising as part of their membership.

For more information on all options, rates, and ad specifications, the CHA Media Kit can be found online at www.CHA.horse/advertise. To book your ad space, or for questions, please contact the CHA office at office@CHA.horse and put CHA magazine ad in the subject line.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Equine Professionals Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies riding instructors, equine facility managers and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and free video Horsemanship Safety Shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified equine professional or accredited equine facility near you, visit our online member database at www.CHA.horse

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Tips on How to Get Youth Involved with Horses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or clandwehr@CHA.horse


Tips on How to Get Youth Involved with Horses
from the Certified Horsemanship Association

(August 2019) – Kids and horses are a magical combination. Seeing the joy that washes over a child’s face while he or she rides for the first time is truly inspiring. If you are a parent, grandparent, or other guardian looking for ways for a special young person in your life to get into riding, rest assured that there are plenty of options. The Certified Horsemanship Association has a primer on the best ways for youth to become involved with horses.

The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) offers options through its members, who are riding instructors, driving instructors, instructors for riders with disabilities, vaulting coaches, trail guides, equestrian facility staff, or camp staff. If you want to try lessons for the child in your life, CHA’s certified experts are a great option. It’s important to understand the credentials of anyone you work with, do thorough research, and make a careful decision, to ensure your child gets off to the right start and has a positive and safe experience. In a past blog post, CHA explored why it’s important to find a certified horseback riding instructor.

To look for CHA certified instructors in your area, along with accredited CHA facilities, that offer riding opportunities, you can search the free online database at CHA.horse. Once you have a list of options in your area, CHA offers more information on how to choose a riding instructor or you can listen to CHA’s interview of two experts on the subject on an episode of the CHA’s Training Tuesdays podcast on “Horses in the Morning.”

In addition to lessons, many children have their first experience with horses at a camp. To find a CHA Accredited Facility, visit CHA.horse and type in “camp” into the search field. To read more about finding a camp with horses, check out the following blog posts: “Attending a Camp with Horseback Riding” and “How to Find the Best Horse Camp.”

In addition to CHA instructors and camps, there are additional options in the equine industry for youth to get involved. Some of the most well-known ones are mentioned below.

The purpose of Time To Ride is to sustain and grow the equine industry by creating the next generation of knowledgeable, dedicated horse enthusiasts and owners while also teaching children valuable life lessons. Time to Ride accomplishes this by introducing school-age children to horseback riding and horse care in a safe, professional, welcoming environment. Time To Ride is a program of the American Horse Council Marketing Alliance. For more information, visit TimeToRide.org. CHA is an educational partner with Time to Ride.

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is offered for kids in grades 4th through 12th, and participants do not need to own a horse. Riders of various levels compete on IEA teams in hunt seat and Western disciplines throughout the school year for individual and team points and accolades. IEA teams are offered through public and private schools and through participating barns. There are more than 11,000 members competing in hundreds of events across the United States. For more information, visit www.RideIEA.org. CHA is an educational alliance partner with IEA.

4-H is the Cooperative Extension System’s youth development program with 110 U.S. land-grand universities involved, which helps to make it the largest youth development organization. More than six million kids are involved between the ages of 8 and 18 in more than 3,000 counties across the United States. Every state, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and 50 other countries have local offices. The equine curriculum includes “horseless” activities along with riding and horsemanship. To look into joining or volunteering with 4-H, or to learn more, visit www.4-H.org. CHA provides discounts on its educational materials to 4H leaders.

The National FFA Organization, mostly known as FFA, or the Future Farmers of America, involves teaching youth about livestock, including horses, and agricultural topics, although it is not just for those who want to be farmers. Students participate in classroom and laboratory instruction, supervised agricultural programs, and student leadership opportunities within the organization. And for those who start FFA as a child and want to continue, there is the Collegiate FFA, programs for adults, and the opportunity to volunteer as an adult. FFA allows participants to connect with a mentor, win awards, and participate on horse judging and horsemanship teams. FFA has local school-level chapters, which are connected to your state’s association underneath the national organization. To learn more, visit www.ffa.org. CHA provides discounts to FFA members on its educational horsemanship materials.

One organization helps youth and youth leaders in the equine industry regardless of breed or discipline affiliation. The American Youth Horse Council (AYHC) serves as a national information center with ongoing training opportunities for youth and people looking to teach kids about horses. AYHC also strives to provide opportunities for youth leaders to network among adults in the industry. It also produces high-quality educational resources for kids. AYHC grants help youth to attend equine activities in the U.S. For more information, visit www.ayhc.com. AYHC and CHA work together on many projects to help kids connect with horses.

The United States Pony Clubs (USPC) provides horsemanship and horse care instruction. Its core values include horsemanship, organized teamwork, and respect for horse and self through horsemanship, service, and education. Participants can now stay within the organization until they are 25 if they meet requirements. There are Pony Clubs in many countries worldwide, and the U.S.’s organization was originally an offshoot of the British Pony Club. USPC offers mounted and unmounted meetings, clinics, rallies, certifications, exchanges, and other special opportunities. Membership is through local a Pony Club or a riding center recognized by the USPC to administer the Pony Club program. Many riding centers can provide a horse for a child to use for Pony Club activities if the child does not own one. To learn more, visit www.ponyclub.org. CHA and USPC attend each other conferences providing education to each other’s members.

In addition to these organizations, there are also youth organizations within most horse breed and discipline organizations. These organizations offer a variety of activities, leadership opportunities, ways for children to be mentored, events and conferences, and even all-youth championship horse shows. CHA partners with AQHA, APHA, ApHC, and AHA.

Many organizations offer contests and youth awards through their youth associations or through the parent organization. Some awards are not just for riding achievements; many are given to those who exemplify sportsmanship, volunteerism, leadership, commitment, dedication, and other similar traits that adults are trying to teach to the next generation. Several youth awards offered by breed and discipline organizations include scholarships and grants.

So whether you own a horse or not, there are a variety of options for youth. To learn about even more opportunities, please read the original blog post that CHA published on this topic.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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“Horses in the Morning,” Sponsored by Troxel, Upcoming 2019 CHA International Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or clandwehr@CHA.horse


Certified Horsemanship Association’s August Training Tuesday on
“Horses in the Morning,” Sponsored by Troxel, Features Presenters
at the Upcoming 2019 CHA International Conference

(July 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association’s (CHA) August episode of Training Tuesdays on “Horses in the Morning” will feature several of the speakers slated for the upcoming 2019 CHA International Conference, scheduled for October 24-27 at Houghton College in Houghton, New York. CHA CEO Christy Landwehr and Glenn the Geek will interview CHA Clinician Julie Goodnight, Harness Horse Youth Foundation Executive Director Ellen Taylor, and Lisa Diersen, founder of the EQUUS Film Festival. Each speaker will showcase what they will be presenting at the conference. It’s a great way to get a preview before this much-anticipated event. In addition, Troxel Helmets, one of CHA’s partners, will sponsor the episode. The show will air August 20, 2019, at 10 a.m. Eastern Time and will also be available via digital download at https://cha.horse/education#horse-radio-show.

During the conference, Goodnight will present “How to Bring Out the Best in Your Horses and Riders” on Friday, October 25, at 9 a.m. and “Collection: Promoting Self-Carriage” on Friday at noon. Goodnight is best known as producer and host of the popular TV show, “Horse Master,” which aired weekly on RFD-TV for 11 years. Her clear and humorous teaching style, enlightening insights on horses, and her live horse-training demonstrations inspire and educate horse owners all over the world. Goodnight’s techniques are grounded in natural horsemanship, classical riding, and a deep understanding of horse behavior. She travels the globe teaching riders, training horses, and entertaining audiences at major horse events. She also offers online education, training videos, tack, and training tools at JulieGoodnight.com.

Taylor will be present “Lines, Not Reins—A Primer on Harness, Driving, and Racing” on Saturday, October 26, at 1:30 p.m. Taylor’s roots are deeply planted in Standardbreds and harness racing with a grandfather and both parents having held trainers’ and drivers’ licenses. Growing up, she was heavily involved in the family training and breeding operation, where she served as caretaker and night watchman and assisted with administrative responsibilities. In addition, Taylor has been involved with the charitable Harness Horse Youth Foundation since she was 16 and has served as executive director for the past 29 years.

Diersen will represent the EQUUS Film Festival on Wednesday night, October 23, starting at 7 p.m. for “A Night at the Movies” during which three movies will be shown for attendees. Diersen founded the EQUUS Film Festival as the first film festival oriented around equestrian-themed content from all over the world. She was also the producer and a writer on one of the films being shown, “A Pony and His Boy: The Story of Berry & Josh.” She is an lifelong equestrian who has ridden since she could sit in a saddle and who appreciates all types of equestrian disciplines. As founder and director of the festival, her mission is to show the world how horses can bring everyone together regardless of race, age, gender, abilities, or disabilities. She is passionate about the education and enlightenment of others to the wonderful world of horses and everything they can do to enrich our lives.

Troxel Brand Manager Jenny Beverage will join the show again with more information about helmet usage. Troxel was the first to develop a light-weight vented ASTM-approved equestrian helmet, and it is the only physician-developed line of equestrian helmets on the market. Troxel offers helmets and accessories to riders of all kinds, including English, Western, and trail. For more information, please visit www.troxelhelmets.com.

To listen to past CHA “Horses in the Morning” episodes, please visit https://cha.horse/education#horse-radio-show.

For more information about the CHA International Conference and the full schedule of events, presentations and speakers, please visit https://cha.horse/international-conference/.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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CHA Certified Instructors Share How Their CHA Certification Has Impacted Their Career and Their Lives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or clandwehr@CHA.horse


CHA Certified Instructors Share How Their
CHA Certification Has Impacted Their Career and Their Lives

(July 2019) – Certified Horsemanship Association Certified Instructors are passionate about their work, their students, and about CHA. Because of this, several CHA Certified Instructors share how their CHA Certification has changed their career and their lives for the better.

When Dale Rudin of Un-Natural Horsemanship in Santa Fe, Tennessee, attended her first CHA International Conference, she says she knew she had found her tribe. This CHA Certified English and Western riding instructor who grounds her program in natural equine behavior shares that it is an honor and a gift to be a member. “It was like coming home to a place where everyone already knew me, because they thought the same way I did about teaching and horses,” she says. “That is especially precious to me because I often follow the beat of a vastly different drum than the majority of trainers and instructors I encounter.

“Coming across someone like-minded is rare enough, but finding an entire organization—CHA was like hitting the jackpot!” she shares. “I felt welcomed and supported by this group of people who ceaselessly strive to do their best for people who want to have a safe and fulfilling equestrian experience and the horses who make that happen. CHA inspires me to be a better instructor and horse person.”

CHA Assistant Clinician Amanda Love, an instructor in animal science at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, and the head coach of the women’s equestrian team there says her CHA Certification has given her another tremendous outlet for education to share with her students. “Our students come from many different riding backgrounds and have professional equine goals that span the spectrum of the horse industry, but CHA is a language that speaks to all horse people,” continues Love. “The videos, publications, manuals, and continuing education encourages equine students to be lifelong learners in the horse industry while maintaining the core values of safe, effective, and fun experiences with horses.”

As owner of CKR Training Stables in Yorba Linda, California, Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg, a CHA Master Instructor with more than 35 years of experience of teaching riders and training horses, thought she would attend a CHA Certification Clinic and that would be it. “I’d have a piece of paper that said I was okie-dokie and I’d be on my way,” says Rohnke-Kronsberg. “Yet, as fantastic as the clinic itself was, I never realized that the best was yet to come. Once I had my certification, I met lots of other certified instructors. They became my friends, mentors, and associates. I have become acquainted with wonderful instructors from all over the world. We have exchanged information and ideas. We have helped each other with training and teaching issues. We have passed along helpful hints and sad stories. Their input has been extremely valuable to me, my staff, clients, and horses.”

Because of her certification, Rohnke-Kronsberg has been asked to speak at local and international events and to write articles. She credits CHA with improving her skills as a barn manager, horse owner, trainer and instructor.

She also never expected to become part of something that was not only helpful to her as an instructor and equine business owner, but as a person. “I have learned that I am respected by my peers and that my opinion matters to people,” she adds. “That has increased my self-esteem immeasurably. I have new confidence in myself and my abilities that extends far beyond the barn, arena, and show pen.”

CHA Clinician and Past President Tara Gamble of TG Horsemanship in British Columbia, Canada, says her CHA certification has allowed her to pursue her passion and turn it into a career. “From this I am a professional with a successful program and facility,” she says. “The resources and opportunities CHA has available for instructors is limitless.”

To learn more about CHA’s certifications and various other programs and educational materials, please visit www.CHA.horse. If you are a CHA Certified Instructor and would like to share “What Your CHA Certification Has Done for You,” please add your story in the comments of our original blog post on the topic at https://cha.horse/cha-certified-instructors-share-what-their-cha-certification-has-done-for-them/.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Julie Goodnight, Photo by Whole Picture

Establishing a True Partnership Between Horse and Riding Student

Establishing a True Partnership Between Horse and Riding Student

By Leigh Cooper

As instructors, we face challenges teaching communication and partnership between our student and the lesson horse. Some students’ horse time is often limited to a one-hour weekly lesson. They may not be able to spend hours observing horses in the pasture or participating in the daily care of the horses they ride. Despite these constraints, we can still show our students how to develop a partnership with a horse through mutual understanding.

An effective partnership requires an open channel of communication between two parties. So for us to be effective riders, we must first become listening riders. To facilitate this communication, we need to use a partnership-focused language, encourage our students to listen to feedback from the horse, and help them utilize that information.

The first step toward partnership is to encourage a two-way communication mindset.

Simply rephrasing how we speak about the horse can influence the rider’s mindset. We may be quick to dismiss a horse as “lazy, stubborn, or naughty,” but such language puts the focus on the horse being at fault, which disregards important feedback from our equine partner. By eliminating the notion that the horse is actively working against the rider, you foster an environment that is based on teamwork.

In addition, consider the difference in “make” versus “ask.” If we tell our student to “make” the horse do something, the answer is black and white—the horse either does or doesn’t do it. This teaches the student to believe the task must happen in order to accomplish something. In turn, this might cause the student to unconsciously tune out feedback from the horse in an effort to reach the desired result.

In contrast, saying “ask your horse to trot” instructs the student to give the cue, and if the message was not received by the horse, the instructor and student can troubleshoot the cause together: How was the message unclear, and how can we improve on it so the horse understands?

Second, we must encourage the student to be an active listener.

Have the student halt in the middle of the arena and then have him or her ask the horse to move forward on a loose rein. The student should note how the horse responds to the cue to move forward. Did the horse respond to the lightest cue, or did the rider need to escalate aids to initiate a response? Did the horse pin his ears? Is the horse focused on something outside the arena, or is he relaxed and listening? Are the horse’s muscles tense with his head raised? Does the horse step out willingly, or does he slow to a stop?

Once the horse is moving forward, ask the student to let the horse walk freely around the arena. The horse will drift to areas where he feels most comfortable or to where he has received a reward in the past, such as near the gate or in the middle of the arena. Have the student discuss where the horse’s attention is focused and what specific locations he feels most comfortable.

Now that a question has been asked of the horse, you can finally encourage the student to discuss what he or she learned from the horse’s response.

A horse focused on something outside the arena may have ignored the rider’s cues for different reasons than the horse that wanted to just plod along and/or stop. From the moment the student mounted the horse, he or she should be thinking, “What kind of rider do I need to be today to best communicate with my horse?”

The student must be open to change based on the feedback received from the horse. The rider also needs to learn that every horse will require a different approach to achieve two-way communication. This helps the student develop successful horse-human partnerships as he or she opens up to an individualized dialog.

For example, a student that starts out with loud cues, such as digging in with heels to get the horse to walk on, might find that the horse jumped forward, raised his head, and pins his ears. Noting that feedback, the student can try again, knowing from the first time that the horse was not comfortable with that amount of pressure.

Students should also learn that if the horse is struggling to find an answer to our question, it is the rider’s responsibility to acknowledge the misunderstanding and improve the communication.

Our goal is to have our student become a listening rider, one that strive for a working relationship with his or her horse. We don’t necessarily speaking the horse’s language, but we must find common ground to build a dialog that both horse and rider can tap into.

Teaching a student to listen to the horse helps him or her to realize that horses are not robots. Horses think and feel. Therefore, maintaining a line of communication with each horse is integral to effective riding. Each student must develop the habit of constantly checking in with the horse and use any feedback to build solid horse-and-rider partnerships. By learning to listen to the horse, even a rider that is limited to a few lessons a month can learn to build a partnership with any horse.

 

Get to Know the Partners of the Certified Horsemanship Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or clandwehr@CHA.horse


Get to Know the Partners of the Certified Horsemanship Association

(June 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association believes in unification of the horse industry and less fragmentation and reinventing of the wheel. So with that mindset, CHA is proud to have created two levels of sponsorship, Corporate and Educational Alliance, and both levels play key roles in helping CHA with its mission of promoting excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry and helping the partner in return with their business plan. CHA would like to express its appreciation to the various organizations who are serving in partnership to help CHA members change lives through safe experiences with horses.

Corporate Sponsors
Active Interest Media (AIM) is one of the world’s largest enthusiast media companies, and it produces consumer and trade events, websites, magazines, films, and TV shows. The Equine Network serves as the horse industry branch with magazines that include Dressage Today, EquiManagement, EQUUS, Horse & Rider, Practical Horseman, Stable Management, The Team Roping Journal, and websites, such as Equine.com, Equisearch, American Cowboy Digital, A Home for Every Horse, and Hope in the Saddle. In addition, the Ariat World Series of Team Roping, which is the richest team roping event in the world, and USRider Equestrian Motor Plan fall under the AIM brand. For more information, visit www.aimmedia.com/equine-network.

Equisure provides specialty insurance coverage for both horse owners and equine professionals, such as riding instructor/trainer insurance, horse mortality and major medical, horse club insurance, horse show/special event insurance, personal excess insurance, and more. Riding instructors and equine facility managers find insurance coverage a great way to prepare for the unexpected. For more information, visit www.equisure-inc.com.

With more than 4 million of their helmets in the equestrian market, Troxel is a leading provider of ASTM/SEI certified equestrian helmets. Troxel focus has been on providing products with innovative design and being the only physician-developed equestrian helmet line. Troxel was the first company to offer helmets for trail and Western riders, and the company supports all equestrian disciplines with helmets and accessories designed for both English and Western riders. For more information, visit www.troxelhelmets.com.

Educational Alliance Partners
The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) promotes, preserves, and provides meaningful experiences with the American Paint Horse breed. Registrations have exceeded 1 million American Paints. APHA sanctions horse shows and races and holds several world championship events. APHA’s recognition programs reflect its membership’s wide range of interests with the American Paint. APHA also provides educational materials and collects official breed data, such as performance records, progeny records, honor rolls, show results, etc. For more information, visit www.apha.com.

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization with more than 5 million registered American Quarter Horses and more than 250,000 members. AQHA is dedicated to recording and preserving the American Quarter Horse breed and encouraging ownership and participation with American Quarter Horses. It also processes approved show and race results, catalogs performances, and produces data on the breed. AQHA’s various championships feature barrel racing, pole bending, roping, western pleasure, jumping, halter, reining, cutting, and more. For more information, visit www.aqha.com.

The Appaloosa Horse Club of America (ApHC) is the international breed registry for Appaloosa horses. Members benefit from services that encourage Appaloosa ownership and participation with their horses, especially in ApHC’s regional, national, and international network of clubs and associations. Many of the 118 regional clubs offer local shows, pleasure rides, and year-end awards. For more information, visit www.appaloosa.com.

The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) is the official breed registry of the Arabian horse in the United States and Canada, and it has more than 1 million registered Arabian, Half-Arabian, and Anglo-Arabian horses. This organization brings together like-minded Arabian horse enthusiasts and provides a focal point for breeding and ownership programs and recreational and competitive activities. With almost 350 events and competitions across 18 geographical regions and its five national events, members can earn around $1 million in annual prize money. For more information, visit www.arabianhorses.org.

The mission of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is to introduce students in private and public middle and secondary schools to equestrian sports. With more than 13,500 members in 42 states, IEA supports the disciplines of hunt seat, western, and dressage. IEA’s guidance for the creation of school- and/or barn-associated equestrian programs and organized student competitions has helped expand exposure to equestrian sports to those who may not own a horse. For more information, visit www.rideiea.org.

The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) is the premier competitive trail riding organization in six regions across North America. NATRC sanctions long distance competitive trail rides and clinics for riders of all equine breeds and disciplines. There is an emphasis on safety, sportsmanship, education, and trail horse care through qualified evaluation of horse and rider by veterinarians and horsemanship judges. Events provide fun for the whole family and build horse-and-rider partnerships, provide comradery among participants, and educate riders about horse care. For more information, visit www.natrc.org.

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) promotes equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. With 4,800 certified instructors and equine specialists, 873 member centers, and almost 8,000 members around the world helping close to 69,000 individuals, PATH Intl. is making the difference in those with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges to find independence thanks to horses. Additional activities provided by centers include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, competition, ground work, and stable management. For more information, visit www.pathintl.org.

The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of equine industry and welfare professionals and advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition. People looking to adopt a horse, share their story about a previous horse in transition, or become an advocate can all benefit from The Right Horse, which is hoping to increase equine adoption numbers nationwide. The organization also hopes to support horses in transition by reframing the conversation around equine adoption. For more information, visit www.therighthorse.org.

Time to Ride is dedicated to introducing people to horses through its Time to Ride Challenge and its latest initiative that introduces people to horses through a series of lessons at Time to Ride Program Facilities. Created by the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, the goal is to sustain and grow the horse industry by creating the next generation of knowledgeable and dedicated horse enthusiasts and owners. The organization’s main objective is to connect parents and children with local barns, riding centers, and non-profit organizations. For more information, visit www.timetoride.org.

Companies wishing to reach the CHA audience can do so in a number of ways: as a Corporate Sponsor or an Educational Alliance Sponsor, as an event sponsor or vendor (e.g., at the CHA International Conference or a Regional Conference), or as an advertiser in CHA’s print publications, e-newsletter, radio show, or through CHA’s sponsored educational videos.

For those wishing to become a Corporate Sponsor or an Educational Alliance Sponsor, please contact clandwehr@CHA.horse. For more information on becoming a CHA International Conference Sponsor or for a vendor booth, please visit https://cha-ahse.netlou-secure.com/product_images/uploaded_files/0519-conf-sponsorshipsbooths.pdf. For more information on advertising, please visit CHA.horse/advertise or contact SarahConrad@CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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“Horses in the Morning”, Teddy Franke and Terry Williams “Working Through Mounted Issues; Troxel Continues Sponsorship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or
clandwehr@CHA.horse

CHA’s May Training Tuesdays on “Horses in the Morning” to Feature Teddy Franke and Terry Williams on “Working Through Mounted Issues; Troxel Continues Sponsorship

(May 2019) – Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) “Horses in the Morning” radio show hosts, CHA CEO Christy Landwehr and Glenn the Geek, will interview CHA Board Members and Clinicians Teddy Franke and Terry Williams live on May’s Training Tuesdays episode. The topic will be “Working Through Mounted Issues.” In addition, Troxel Helmets, one of CHA’s newest partners, will sponsor again. The show will air May 21, 2019, at 10 a.m. Eastern Time and will also be available via digital download at https://cha.horse/education#horse-radio-show.

Franke, of Pine Hollow, OR, brings a lot of experience into his new position on the CHA Board of Directors. He is a CHA Clinician and a Master Instructor in English/Western, in addition to being certified as an IRD Instructor, an Equine Facilities Manager ACI, and a Packing Guide ACI. Franke serves on the CHA Membership and Marketing Committee. When he’s not busy managing the horse program at Camp Morrow, he also operates Franke Equine, a horsemanship and farriery business. Franke has helped lead horse programs in three states, been the regional director for CHA Regions 1 and 11, served on the board of the American Youth Horse Council, and is an ASHA judge.

Williams of Blanchester, OH, serves as CHA Treasurer, as chair of the Research and Development Committee and the Finance Committee, and as a member of the Nominations Committee. She is a Clinician, Certified Master Instructor, an EFM Clinic Instructor, an Overnight Guide, and a CHA Site Visitor. She was honored in 2015 with the CHA Volunteer of the Year award and in 2011 with the CHA Clinic Instructor of the Year award. Her hard work as the editor-in-chief of CHA’s The Equine Professional Manual: The Art of Teaching Riding paid off when the manual was honored in the American Horse Publication’s Equine Media Awards in the Equine-Related Nonfiction Book Category. She has also been a regional director and has managed dozens of clinics over the years. She is a graduate of Otterbein College’s Equine Science and Stable Management Program.

Troxel Brand Manager, Jenny Beverage, will join the show again with plenty of useful information about helmet usage. Troxel was the first to develop a light-weight vented ASTM-approved equestrian helmet, and it is the only physician-developed line of equestrian helmets on the market. Troxel offers helmets and accessories to riders of all kinds, including English, Western, and Trail. For more information, please visit www.troxelhelmets.com.

CHA has been a part of “Horses in the Morning” radio show since 2014 and has interviewed a variety of experts on safety and horsemanship topics. To listen to past CHA “Horses in the Morning” episodes, please visit https://cha.horse/education#horse-radio-show.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit
www.CHA.horse.

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Experts Offer 11 Tips on Developing an Equestrian Camp Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: CHA

859-259-3399 or office@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Experts Offer 11 Tips
on Developing an Equestrian Camp Program

(May 2019) – Two Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Certified Instructors and equestrian camp experts share tips with professionals wishing to start a camp program. Teddy Franke, a CHA Master Instructor and Clinician, currently manages Morrow Ranch Camp in Wamic, Oregon. Corinne Lettau, a CHA Level 4 English and Level 2 Western Certified Instructor, owns Denver Equestrians, LLC in Littleton. In addition to the following tips from Lettau and Franke, CHA has multiple programs and certifications that can help camp managers develop and run their programs.

1. Always use safe horses. CHA has a variety of educational materials, including its CHA Standards for Equestrian Programs, its CHA Composite Horsemanship Manual, and The Equine Professional Manual: The Art of Teaching Riding, along with articles published in The Instructor magazine and the blog post, “Finding a Great Lesson Horse: What to Look for and Consider Before You Shop.” Any of these resources can help educate professionals find a safe horse and develop a safe facility, since safety is paramount for campers. Camp managers will need to determine if their current horses should be used in a camp program or if they need to purchase or lease new horses and what qualities a camp horse should have.

2. Use CHA Certified Instructors. One of CHA’s first blog posts looked into “Why You Should Find a Certified Riding Instructor,” many of the reason also apply to why a certified instructor should be employed for a camp program. CHA riding instructors have been thoroughly tested at a certification clinic to ensure they can teach safely, effectively, and while providing a fun lesson. CHA certified instructors are tested on five important areas needed for a good instructor: safety, horsemanship knowledge and ability, teaching techniques, group control, and responsibility and professionalism. In addition, having instructors with a certification shows the professionalism of your camp program and that you value hiring knowledgeable staff.

3. Develop organized lesson plans. Camp instructors and managers can learn how to develop quality lesson plans through CHA’s continuing education opportunities. Sessions at the CHA International Conference, Regional Conferences and at a Certification Clinic often showcase how to plan lessons and organize lesson plans.

4. Develop fun games and horse-related educational activities for the kids. The key to this is to make sure the activities are safe, and since a camp is already using safe horses and has a CHA instructor, then this is a good start. It’s just a matter of letting creativity fly.

5. Provide an outline for the parents so they know what to expect. Good communication is always important between staff, parents, and campers.

6. Develop leaders. One great way to empower staff and to help them succeed is to send staff to CHA skills workshops, regional conferences, the CHA International Conference, and other continuing education events within the horse industry. This allows staff to learn the latest in horsemanship, horse care, horse training, riding, and teaching students.

7. Follow standards. CHA provides a set of industry standards for group riding programs. The standards provide the solid foundation for instructors and for your facility. If not CHA, find an organization that clearly defines your operational practices. This will help you ensure that your program is up to par. For all of CHA’s standards, read the “CHA Standards for Equestrian Programs” manual.

For all 11 tips, and a list of questions that camp managers can use to evaluate their needs and determine what needs to be done before those first campers arrive, please visit the complete blog post at https://cha.horse/11-tips-from-the-experts-on-developing-an-equestrian-camp-program/.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit
www.CHA.horse.

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CHA Board, Photo by Moving Images NW

Educational Opportunities for Equestrians Available at CHA Regional Conferences

Educational Opportunities for Equestrians Available at CHA Regional Conferences

By Sarah Evers Conrad

Are you looking for a way to boost your horsemanship skills? Do you want to learn more about teaching horseback riding? Do you want to learn from some of the best horsemen and horsewomen in the equine industry? All horse enthusiasts, especially instructors and professionals within the equine industry, have 11 great opportunities throughout this year to learn more about horses, horsemanship, and safety. Each Certified Horsemanship Association Region offers a regional conference for anyone wanting horsemanship education, hands-on experiences, networking opportunities, and to make social connections within the horse industry. In the United States and Canada, CHA has 11 regions, in addition to an International Region. Each region within the U.S. and Canada has a regional conference, and attendance counts for continuing education credits toward CHA membership. Attendees do not have to live in the specific region to attend that region’s conference, and you do not have to be a member of CHA to attend. All CHA Regional Conferences are open to the public and to all horse enthusiasts.

There is also the larger annual CHA International Conference that brings together CHA members, horse industry professionals, and horse enthusiasts from all over. This year’s International Conference is scheduled for October 22-25 at the American Quarter Horse Association’s Hall of Fame and Museum and the West Texas A&M University in Amarillo, Texas. This event also serves as the Region 8 Conference for Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. However, with eight more months to wait for the international conference, CHA encourages all horse enthusiasts to check out a regional conference.

There are several great opportunities on the horizon, so if you will be in the following regions, you may want to book your trip and register to attend these great events as soon as possible.

CHA Region 1 (British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, Western Montana, Oregon, and Alberta)

This conference is scheduled for March 5-8 at Canyonview Equestrian College in Silverton, OR. A great schedule is planned with classes, workshops, and mini-clinics on a wide variety of topics and disciplines. In addition, there will be fun activities, challenges, and excellent food. Speakers include Richard Shrake, Nathan Horsman, Stan Loewen, Trisha Kiefer, Reed, Monica Liles, Phil Peterson, Gregory Gil, Tereesa Wentland, Sherilyn Sander, Rod Brown, Jessica Mohr, Scott Depalo, Teddy Franke, Ren Bannerman, and Dr. Chris Wickliffe. The presenters will speak on reining, dressage, cutting, jumping, pack and trail, and instructor training. Those who wish to be hands on and ride in the presentations are able to on a first-come, first-serve basis. A silent auction filled with tack, equipment, rider apparel, home décor, teaching aids, etc., will help raise funds for the region’s scholarship program and other programs. Contact Teddy Franke in Oregon at teddy@campmorrow.org or 541-544-2149 or 907-687-6047. Follow news from Region 1 online at www.charegion1.com, Twitter.com/charegion1, Facebook.com/CHARegion1, and Facebook.com/groups/CHARegion1.

 

CHA Region 5 (New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Virginia, Deleware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland)

This conference is scheduled for March 20-21 at Houghton College in Houghton, New York. Topics include farrier care to optimize performance with farrier Ed Carls, IRD techniques for cognitive/physical challenges, saddle fitting to help the horse and rider with Certified Master Saddle Fitter Judy Bromley, quadrille riding with the Musical Freestyle class of Houghton College, how to teach a CHA clinic lesson involving jumping with CHA clinicians Lynn Bliven and Lisa Strapello, how to safely prepare kids for competitions with CHA Master Clinic Instructor Kathy Hilsher, how to help at-risk youth with horses with CHA Master Clinic Instructor Susan Berger, how to teach riders to improve a horse’s gait with CHA Master Clinic Instructor and USDF Silver Medalist Valerie McCloskey, obstacle training with clinician JoAnn Long of Gentle Dove Farm, and teaching correct gaming techniques for barrel racing, pole bending, etc., with Lynn Bliven. In addition, attendees can take 45-minute lessons with schoolmasters for $50 as part of fundraiser for CHA. Pre-registration is required. Contact Larissa Strappello at larissa.strappello@houghton.edu.

CHA Region 9 (Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming)

This conference is scheduled for March 13-15 in Denver, CO at the National Western Complex in concert with the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. Topics include teaching techniques for riding instructors, credentialing for riding instructors, and exercises on horseback riding for all levels with CHA CEO Christy Landwehr; working with the very young rider with Ashleigh Hamill of Frontrange Equestrians; equine activity liability with Jill Montgomery of JRAM Enterprises; using a temperature gauge to manage a horse with Dr. Jeff Prystupa of Equine Thermography; building a successful local breed club and youth organization with Hamill and Jerry Martinez of the Arabian Horse Association; and many more great horse health care and management topics. The Junior Colorado Arabian Horse Club will do a demonstration. In addition to the conference, attendees will receive lunch, parking passes, and tickets to all events at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, including the Mane Event. Since the Expo has seven venues running simultaneously in addition to the Region 9 Conference, it makes for a great family weekend. Contact Jill Montgomery at jill@jramenterprises.com or Ashleigh Hamill at frontrangeequestrians@gmail.com.

Attendees can book accommodations at host hotels at special rates if booked by a certain date and at regular hotel rates after that. Attendees of regional conferences are also encouraged to register for the conference as far in advance as possible. There are rates for the entire conference or day rates for those who can’t attend every day. CHA members and students can book at a discounted rate.

For additional information on CHA Regions, upcoming conferences, and for contact information, visit CHA Regional Conferences. Don’t forget to join CHA’s email list to hear about upcoming conferences and other educational opportunities and content at www.cha-ahse.org.

* Please Note: CHA Region 7 (North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama) had its conference in January. The next Region 7 conference will be in 2016.

 

Certified Horsemanship Association Offering Numerous Certifications in North America is in Need of Qualified Host Sites

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or
office@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Offering Numerous
Certifications in North America is in Need of Qualified Host Sites

(April 2019) – Anyone who wants to further their career by earning a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Certification is encouraged to check out the CHA Certification Schedule online at https://cha.horse/cha-certifications/. CHA Certifications are intensive multi-day events in which attendees learn and demonstrate their skills so they can be certified at one of CHA’s various certification types and levels. They are currently available for the Standard Instructor in English and/or Western disciplines, Equine Facilities Management (EFM), Instructors of Riders with Disabilities (IRD), and as a Trail Guide or Day Ride Trail Guide. There are also opportunities to host Driving and Vaulting Certifications. Join more than 30,000 experts who have been certified by the largest certifying organization in North America! Through the certification of professionals who can provide safe, effective, and fun experiences with horses, CHA changes lives through safe experiences with horses.

Certification offers many benefits to the instructor, including showing the industry and potential customers that the instructor has the skills and knowledge to teach riders or to run an equine facility according to strict industry standards set by an independent third party. In addition, certification demonstrates professionalism, dedication, and a commitment to horsemanship instruction and/or equine facility management. Certified individuals have demonstrated their focus on the safety and well-being of all participants in equestrian pursuits, humans and horses alike.

The instructor’s willingness to dedicate their time and money to the CHA certification process indicates that they are a serious professional. CHA certified instructors must demonstrate a high level of professional competence and adhere to continuing education requirements set forth by CHA to maintain their certification. In addition, many insurance companies recognize certification and will give discounts.

At this time, English/Western Certifications are available in the following 19 states and three Canadian provinces: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington state, and Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, Canada.

Those wishing to receive their IRD certification can do so in Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, and Oklahoma, while those wishing to be certified as a trail guide or day ride trail guide can attend certifications in Colorado, Georgia, and Oregon. In addition, those wishing to become a certified equine facilities manager can attend certifications in Colorado, Texas, and Washington.

Each certification includes workshops and hands-on demonstrations in five areas: safety, horsemanship knowledge and ability, teaching techniques, group control, and professionalism and ethics. Two CHA Certification Instructors evaluate each attendee, who must also pass written tests and competently demonstrate their skills as an instructor during the event to receive their certification. The cost of the certification also includes the attendee’s membership in CHA, fees for the event, and all educational materials. Each host site will specify which meals are included and if a lodging option is available with the final price.

To see the complete schedule, please visit http://www.chainstructors.com/clinics. Please note that CHA adds host sites to this schedule on an ongoing basis. For more information on attending a CHA Certification, please visit https://CHA.horse/join-cha-2/.

For anyone wishing to host a CHA Certification, the organization is taking applications to host in the fall of 2019 and beyond. Host sites must become a CHA Program Member that is pre-approved by CHA. If your facility would like to become a new host site for CHA, please visit https://cha.horse/how-to-host-a-cha-clinic-2/.

For questions, or if you have already been approved as a host site, please contact CHA at office@CHA.horse to receive your Materials Order Form and Certification Request Form.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of equine professionals in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit
www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Troxel Becomes Alliance Partner of the Certified Horsemanship Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or
clandwehr@CHA.horse

Troxel Becomes Alliance Partner of the Certified Horsemanship Association and Sponsors CHA’s March Training Tuesdays on “Horses in the Morning”

(March 2019) – The 2019 Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has added Troxel as a CHA Alliance Partner. Troxel is a leading provider of ASTM/SEI certified equestrian helmets. With more than four million helmets in the equestrian market, Troxel’s safety record is second to none. With both Troxel and CHA’s commitment to safety, this partnership is a perfect fit for both organizations.

Troxel will also sponsor the March episode of CHA’s Training Tuesdays on the “Horses in the Morning” Radio Show. CHA CEO Christy Landwehr and Horse Radio Network founder Glenn the Geek will interview CHA instructors Anne Brzezicki and Keli Wakeley about grooming tips and tricks during the live radio show on March 18, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. In addition, Troxel’s Brand Manager, Jenny Beverage, will join to discuss what riders should look for when purchasing an equestrian helmet and when a rider should replace their helmet. To listen live or to catch the recorded show, visit https://cha.horse/education#horse-radio-show.

Beverage, of Union, OR, grew up in the saddle and found her “Why” in life after seeing the spot where a family acquaintance died from a head injury while riding her horse to a trail head. She has been with Troxel Helmets for more than 15 years helping to develop helmets that riders want to wear. Troxel was the first to develop a light-weight vented ASTM-approved equestrian helmet, and it is the only physician-developed line of equestrian helmets on the market. Troxel offers helmets and accessories to riders of all kinds, including English, Western, and trail. For more information, please visit www.troxelhelmets.com.

Brzezicki of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is CHA’s Vice President of New Initiatives, a CHA Master Instructor, and a CHA Assistant Clinic Instructor. She is the former Director of the Equestrian Program at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and former coach of MTSU’s Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) equestrian team. She was honored as the 2015 CHA Instructor of the Year, 2003 IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and was the 2004 IHSA Regional Coach of the Year.

Wakeley is a CHA Certified Instructor who offers instruction and training specializing in showmanship, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, competitive trail, and western pleasure horsemanship and showmanship through her business KW Performance Horses in the Gainesville, Florida area. She has competed at events affiliated with the American Quarter Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association, and the Appaloosa Horse Club. She is also the Equestrian Director at Keystone Camp and Conference Center in Starke, Florida.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit
www.CHA.horse.

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Employment Opportunities in the Horse Industry through the CHA Job Opportunities Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or
clandwehr@CHA.horse

 

Employment Opportunities Available to the Horse Industry through the
Certified Horsemanship Association Job Opportunities Board

(March 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is providing a valuable service to those wishing to work in the equine industry through its online job opportunities board. Would you like to teach riding lessons in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, or Maine? Or be the director of a riding academy in the Adirondacks? Would you like to be a summer camp riding instructor or an equestrian program manager in North Carolina, a therapeutic riding instructor in Texas, a summer wrangler in Washington state, or a program specialist in Wisconsin? These positions and more are online on the CHA Job Opportunities Board.

If you are looking to hire, one of CHA’s member benefits is the ability to add job postings online for free on the board. This benefit is especially helpful for Business/Program Members seeking to hire additional staff. CHA Program/Business Members can also run job openings in the CHA e-newsletter at a discounted rate of $50 (normal rate is $100), while individual members can run up to 25 words for free. CHA members can submit a job posting to office@CHA.horse with the subject line “CHA Website – Job Posting Request.”

For more information on more benefits of CHA membership, please visit here. For questions, please contact CHA’s headquarters in Lexington, KY, at 859-259-3399 or office@CHA.horse.


CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, the Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit
CHA.horse.

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The Right Horse Initiative

Riding Instructors As Stakeholders

Riding Instructors As Stakeholders
By Sarah Evers Conrad

At the beginning of this year, the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) announced their involvement with The Right Horse Initiative. This program allows CHA riding instructors in Region 9—Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska—to adopt horses that need new homes for use in their riding lesson programs and/or camp programs. CHA leadership recognized the merits of this program to help the horse industry give a new career to horses in transition. It also helps meet one of the biggest needs of riding instructors—where to get quality mounts for their lesson programs.

This pilot program is possible thanks to a grant given to CHA from the Watershed Animal Fund, which funds The Right Horse Initiative. This grant helps with transportation costs for the horses as they are transitioned to their new homes.

CHA is working closely with Harmony Equine Center in Franktown, CO, which serves as a transition center for the horses. Transition centers are organizations and facilities that provide a range of services, including intake, boarding, medical care, and training for the horses that are in transition.

Another transition center that has partnered with CHA is Colorado State University (CSU). CSU receives the horses from Harmony Equine Center. Then the CSU students start working with the horses to retrain them for new careers. Once they have completed their training, they are placed up for adoption to CHA members.

The program kicked off in January 2018, and the first horses to graduate from CSU training moved to their new homes after the spring semester.

Pecos was adopted by Andrea Linzmeyer, a CHA Certified Instructor and Equine Facilities Manager who is the Equine Manager at the Urban Farm in Denver, CO. The 12-year-old Paint gelding will eventually be used as a walk/trot/canter horse in lessons.

Linzmeyer was impressed with the level of training that CSU had given Pecos. “CSU does an amazing job with these horses’ training,” she said. “They work hard to make sure they are put to the test and will truly succeed as lesson horses.”

Emmalee Anne Gale, another CHA Certified Instructor who works at the Urban Farm as the Equine Assistant, adopted Gretta. Gretta is a 15-year-old Quarter Horse and Arabian cross mare. The mare settled right in with all of the cows and goats and other animals at the Urban Farm, and she isn’t even phased by the nearby passing trains, said Gale.

Gale said Gretta lacked information about her past history, so she was restarted at CSU by the student that trained her. Gale, who wanted a more green horse, is continuing Gretta’s training for her intermediate to advanced riders.

“Gretta was in great shape and had been well taken care of,” said Gale. “I was able to watch her trainer at the time work with her before I was able to try her myself. I truly enjoy working with Gretta, and I think that she will not only be a great horse for me, but she will also do well in my lessons.”

A third horse was adopted by CHA Certified Instructor Jessie Butler of Fort Collins, CO. Currently, Butler, who is also certified by PATH Intl., is the Program Manager at Front Range Exceptional Equestrians and is a therapeutic riding instructor at Hearts and Horses in Loveland, CO. In addition, she has her own lesson program.

Otter, previously named Hunter, is a 16-year-old grade mare. Otter settled beautifully into her new home, said Butler. After settling in, Butler introduced her to her students, and she has already become a student favorite in her lesson program.

“Otter came into my program with a great wealth of knowledge,” said Butler about the training the mare received at CSU.

Butler is working on expanding Otter’s knowledge with English riding and with crossrails. “She is learning quickly and is already a superstar for my riders doing trot pole courses,” she added.

“My students and I have loved our little Otter since the moment she stepped hoof on our property!” said Butler. “Kids, teens, and adults in my program constantly gush about how sweet and lovely she is! Otter knows her job as a lesson pony and carries all her riders with grace, a wonderful sense of humor, and just a pinch of spunk—the perfect recipe for a lesson horse. Otter will be loved by myself and my students for a long, long time!”

Butler said adopting from CSU’s Right Horse program was a wonderful experience. “I highly recommend it to other CHA instructors!” she added. “It was a straight-forward process, and I’m thrilled with how it all turned out!”

Both Gale and Linzmeyer would recommend the program to CHA instructors. “There are some really great horses that are just waiting to have their nexthome,” said Linzmeyer. “The Right Horse, CSU, the Harmony center and CHA teaming up has made it easy for instructors to find good, affordable school horses, as well as give these wonderful horses a second chance. It’s a win-win for all.”

Now that August is here, 12 more horses will be available for adoption in Region 9. CSU’s summer semester students have been busy working with these horses. After the fall semester ends in December of this year, then the third batch of horses will be available.

For more information on The Right Horse, visit http://www.therighthorse.org.

 

Business / Program Members Share Their CHA Member Experiences

CHA Business/Program Members Share Their Experiences as CHA Members
By Sarah Evers Conrad

The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) has multiple options for membership. The Business/Program Membership is perfect for businesses and associations, such as camps, stables, schools, equine suppliers, and producers. There is a plethora of benefits for Business/Program Members, some of which include special advertising opportunities, free job postings on the CHA job board, a facility link on the CHA online database, marketing and advertising opportunities, continuing education for riding program staff, discounts on CHA products and services, discounts to the CHA International Conference and Regional Conferences, discounts at many tack shops, instructor liability insurance through Equisure and others, the ability to host CHA certification clinics and workshops, and much more. Annual dues are $200.00. In addition, if a Business/Program Member is also a CHA Accredited Site, they receive $25 per year off their annual dues.

Several CHA Business/Program Members wanted to share more about their experiences and benefits from their membership.

Eightfold Farms

Eightfold Farms co-owner and manager Hanna Gamble is CHA Certified at Level 4 for English and Level 3 for Western. She and her mother, Carol, purchased Eightfold Farms in April of 2015. The business became a Business/Program Member as well as a CHA Lifetime Member. This 174-acre facility overlooks the Red River in Benton, LA, and offers lessons, training, rehab, sales, facility rental, and more.

“Eightfold Farms is the manifestation of a lifelong dream, and I feel so blessed to be able to share this special place and safe horsemanship with the next generation,” says Gamble.

Gamble says that she takes pride in being a CHA member and certified instructor and having her actions and her program held to a professional standard. “The Certified Horsemanship Association is a well curated group of equestrian professionals, and it shows,” she adds.

Gamble originally heard about CHA from her first riding instructor, Sig North at Double Rainbow Farm in Haughton, LA. “I absolutely loved the structured learning curriculum and path to advancement that it provided,” adds Gamble. “By being introduced to correct horsemanship at such an early age, I was able to feel comfortable in all types of equestrian settings. These early experiences with CHA had a great impact on my development and are the reason I chose to become a CHA certified instructor and business.”

Gamble plans to use the CHA Instructors Directory this year to host clinics at her farm in the fall. In addition, she shares that CHA has improved her instruction program by increasing access to learning resources for her students and teaching resources for herself. When she teaches a beginning lesson, the student receives a CHA Level 1 Horsemanship Manual. “Students and parents alike love the clear progression of learning in the books,” she says.

For more information, please visit http://www.eightfoldfarms.com.

Marmon Valley Farm

The family-owned Marmon Valley Farm in Zanesfield, OH, is the largest Christian horse camp in Ohio. With 150 well-trained horses and ponies, Marmon Valley Farm has been specializing in horseback riding for more than 50 years for guests of all ages. This CHA Business/Program Member and Host Site offers riding lessons, pony rides, trail rides, special events, and an “Adopt-a-Horse” program for frequent riders to focus on one horse for riding and grooming without all the responsibilities of horse ownership.

Executive Director Matt Wiley is co-owner with his sister, Jane Olsen, while his wife, Kathy, serves as Lessons Coordinator. Wiley’s parents started Marmon Valley, which became a CHA member in 1968. “My father, Bill Wiley, saw the value of a progressive and standardized program and got involved to the point of running the CHA office from our camp for several years,” says Wiley. “It is helpful to see the results as campers return from year to year.”

“I think CHA is well designed for camp and lesson barns,” he adds, although he would love to see more private barns get involved and utilize the materials available through CHA at www.CHA.horse

For more information, please visit https://marmonvalley.com.

Houghton College and Riding Camp

Houghton College in Houghton, NY, not only became a Business/Program Member, but it is a CHA Accredited Site and a CHA Host Site for clinics and workshops. It is also the site of the 2019 CHA International Conference. Joanne Young began directing the equestrian program at Houghton College in 1986. She is a CHA Clinician, a Trail Guide Instructor (Level 2), a Site Visitor Trainer, and a Lifetime CHA Member.

Houghton College is a Christian liberal arts college that offers CHA certification as part of its existing equine studies curriculum. Young describes the equine studies program further. “Houghton College Equestrian Program specializes in helping each equestrian student discover and develop the special skills, interests, and talents God gave them in a way that prepares her or him to serve/work/build a career in the best niche for them in the equestrian world.”

“I quickly realized the awesome networking available through CHA; the access to excellent educational materials; and the high standards for teaching, for horse care, and for safety would blend with and reinforce my goals for a high-quality program at Houghton College,” continues Young. “As soon as budget would allow, I had the college become a Business/Program Member, and I became an Individual Life Member.”

One fringe benefit for Young has been the wonderful friendships and connections that Young has made with “outstanding professional horsemen in many different disciplines and venues,” of which some have become internship mentors for Houghton College students.

Now that Young is semi-retired, Larissa Ries is the current program director and also a CHA Assistant Clinician for CHA’s Standard English/Western Certification and for the Equine Facility Managers Certification.

According to Young, being a CHA Business/Program Member has given nationwide exposure for the college’s equestrian program, has led to excellent jobs for some students, and has lent even greater credibility to the quality of equestrian education at Houghton College.

For more information, please visit http://www.houghton.edu/equestrian.

Blue Star Camps

Blue Star Camps in Hendersonville, NC, sits on 500 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers campers English riding instruction on specially trained, camp-owned horses with all instruction by CHA instructors, trail rides through the 10,400 acre forest preserve, and a camp-wide horse show. Blue Star Camps is a CHA Business/Program Member, an Accredited Site, and is a CHA Host Site.

Louise Hardman, Equestrian Director of Blue Star Camps, is a CHA Assistant Clinician for English and a Level 2 Western Instructor, along with being a Lifetime CHA Member. She believes that CHA Accreditation helps facilities and equine programs to strive for excellence.

Blue Star Camps joined as a Business/Program Member and became accredited to show potential and current customers that they care about operating Blue Star Camps using set safety and quality standards set by CHA, which are explained in CHA’s Standards for Equestrian Programs manual. “Just like certification gives an individual added legitimacy, site accreditation gives added legitimacy to those facilities who go through the process,” she adds. “It is a great way to show that you care to meet industry standards and that you care about the welfare of your animals, staff, and clients.”

Hosting a CHA certification has been a great way for all of the Blue Star Camps staff to become certified. “In addition, we open it to outside participants, which is a great way to meet more wonderful horse people,” adds Hardman.

For more information, please visit https://www.bluestarcamps.com.

If you would like to become a CHA Business/Program Member and take advantage of the benefits mentioned above, please visit CHA Membership Application.

 

CHA Seeking Equine Experts to Speak at their 2019 International Conference in October in New York State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: CHA Office

720-857-9550 or office@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Seeking Equine Experts for Speakers for the 2019 CHA International Conference in October in New York State

(February 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is seeking experts within the horse industry as speakers for the 2019 CHA International Conference. Part of CHA’s mission is providing quality continuing education within the horse industry, and the annual international conference is CHA’s ultimate learning opportunity. The 2019 CHA International Conference is scheduled for October 24-27, at Houghton College near Buffalo, New York. Speakers at this event include riding instructors, horse trainers, barn managers, veterinarians, equine behaviorists, farriers, saddle fit specialists, equine association representatives, business consultants, and other equine professionals. Those wishing to attend the conference should Save the Dates.

If you would like to speak, CHA is now accepting speaker applications for classroom-style lectures, roundtable and panel discussions, hands-on horse demonstrations, and mounted riding sessions (using Houghton College’s school horses) with attendees who sign up on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sessions at the CHA International Conference are focused on safe, effective, and fun horsemanship.

CHA is all-breed and all-discipline organization. The audience at the CHA International Conference includes riding instructors, trail guides, barn managers, driving and vaulting coaches, horse owners, riders, and general horse enthusiasts. Attendees can sign up to ride well-trained school horses provided by Houghton College. CHA members and non-members alike attend as the conference is open to the public with prior registration.

Those wishing to speak should contact CHA at 720-857-9550 or clandwehr@CHA.horse. The deadline is March 18, 2019. Those applying to speak will need to send a professional biography paragraph, a photo, and a session title and paragraph description, along with anything needed to fulfill your session.

More information about the CHA International Conference can be found at https://cha.horse/international-conference. Additional information will be added online throughout the year, including the full line-up of speakers and sessions.


CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit
www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Offers Educational Opportunities with Skills Workshops

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: CHA Office

720-857-9550 or office@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Offers Educational Opportunities with Skills Workshops

(February 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is excited to announce several opportunities for learning and continuing education with several Skills Workshops offered on its calendar. CHA Skills Workshops are single-day or multi-day events covering any topic covered in any of the CHA Certification Programs or how to teach any topic covered in any CHA Certification Program.

The CHA Region 9 Equine Facility Managers (EFM) Skills Workshop, “Building Safer Equine Activity Programs through Equine Facility Manager Certification,” will be taught by CHA CEO Christy Landwehr and CHA EFM Clinician Jill Montgomery. This workshop is designed to show the process that CHA uses in evaluating the skills necessary to gain CHA EFM Certification and to practice the skills tested in each of the four levels evaluated at CHA EFM Certification Clinics.

There will be a tour of the host facility, the Dumb Friend’s League Harmony Equine Center in Franktown, Colorado. This state of the art facility is dedicated to re-homing unwanted horses and is part of CHA’s pilot program with The Right Horse to give horses another career as lesson horses with CHA instructors. “We’re really excited to be able to do this workshop at this particular facility that is so impactful for our region,” said Montgomery.

This April 6th workshop is geared toward stable owners and staff, riding instructors interested in becoming CHA Certified Equine Facility Managers, and individuals who want to make their operations safer and more effective. The cost for non-members is $135 (which includes CHA membership for a year) and $75 for CHA members. Proceeds will go to benefit CHA Region 9 travel funds. The program qualifies for eight continuing education units (CEUs). Contact Jill Montgomery at jill.montgomery@yahoo.com for more information.

Montgomery of Pueblo West, Colorado, is CEO of JRAM Enterprises, Inc., which provides equine business consulting. She is also a CHA Certified Instructor at Level 3 in English and Western, a CHA Certified Equine Facility Manager Clinician, a Site Visitor, a director for Region 9, and a past board member. Montgomery won the 2017 CHA Volunteer of the Year Award and the 2017 Van Ness Award from the American Horse Council.

CHA has two Instructors of Riders with Disabilities (IRD) Skills Workshops this year that will be taught by Debbie Holmes. These two clinics will cover mounts and dismounts, matching up the horse and rider, adapting riding elements to a therapeutic rider, risk management, teaching techniques and lesson plans, and saddle fit. These workshops may be of interest to any CHA IRD instructor, or anyone who has volunteered at a therapeutic riding program or who wants more information on the CHA IRD program. Participants can earn six CEUs.

The first IRD workshop will be April 27 at Horses with Heart in Chino Valley, Arizona. The cost for non-members is $160 (which includes CHA membership for a year), while the cost for CHA members is $100. Contact Debbie Holmes at debbie.holmes@charter.net. The second IRD workshop will be on October 9 at Wesley Woods-Barnum Equestrian Center in Indianola, Iowa. The cost for non-members is $175, while the cost for CHA members is $115. Contact Laura Huttler at horses@wesleywoodsiowa.org.

Holmes is a CHA Master and Clinic Instructor in Western, English, and Jumping; a CHA Master IRD Instructor and Clinician; the current Oregon State Representative; a PATH Registered Instructor, Equine Specialist, and Mentor; and she has completed the Level One American Hippotherapy Association training. She is the program director and founder of White Dove Therapeutic Riding Center in Grants Pass, Oregon. Previously, she was a therapeutic instructor with Horses with Heart and at Arizona State University.

In addition to these clinics, please keep an eye on the online CHA clinics calendar at https://cha.horse/cha-certifications/#skills-workshops for the addition of more CHA Skills Workshops for 2019. For further information on becoming a CHA Host Site or to learn more about skills clinics, please visit https://cha.horse/cha-certifications/#skills.


CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit
www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Horse Enthusiasts Can Find Educational Opportunities through CHA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or
clandwehr@CHA.horse

Horse Enthusiasts Can Find Educational Opportunities at
Certified Horsemanship Association Regional Conferences
and at the 2019 CHA International Conference in October

(February 2019) – The 2019 Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) CHA Regional Conferences is constantly being added to throughout the year as new Regional Conferences are announced by their respective CHA host region. In addition, information about the CHA International Conference is released throughout the year. If you like horses, these conferences offer great opportunities to learn more about horsemanship through the largest certifying body in North America. They are open to all.

Each CHA Conference offers continuing education, networking opportunities, and the chance to make social and business connections within the horse industry. Some conferences even offer hands-on mounted sessions taught by top instructors. Speakers include expert instructors, clinicians, veterinarians, farriers, and other equine industry professionals. Participants are free to attend only those topics they are most interested in.

The 2019 CHA International Conference is scheduled for October 24-27, at Houghton College near Buffalo, New York. Houghton College has offered the use of its well-trained school horses for mounted sessions. In addition, classroom-style presentations with top experts within the horse industry will offer attendees the chance to take notes on a variety of topics involving horses. Since this event is in Region 5, there will be no Region 5 Conference. More information about the CHA International Conference will be released throughout the year and can be found at https://cha.horse/international-conference.

Several regional conferences are coming up soon, so now is the time to make plans to attend and to get registered. Attendees do not have to be from the specific host region to attend at that location.

CHA’s Region 1 (British Columbia, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Alberta) will host its conference February 28-March 3 at Miracle Ranch in Port Orchard, Washington, which is about an hour from Seattle. This four-day conference has a jam-paced schedule on topics such as feeding, grooming to massage, dressage in riding lessons, working equitation, herd management, camping, farriery, evaluating a therapeutic horse prospect, lesson planning, social media marketing, bandaging and vital signs, risk reduction, and so much more. There are numerous options for networking, a silent auction, and social events. The cost is $220, which includes the program, meals, and overnight accommodations. For those commuters who only wish to pay for the program and meals, the cost is $185. Day rates are also available. For more information, visit https://www.charegion1.com/events.

CHA’s Region 9 (Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming) will host a free virtual conference on March 13 at 6pm Mountain Time with a talk on how to use CHA in your horse programming and from an equine attorney on the difference between staff and contracted employees. For more information, please contact the CHA office for the link to the webinar and the recording afterwards at office@CHA.horse

CHA’s Region 4 (Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia) will host its conference March 14-15 at Marmon Valley Farms in Zanesfield, Ohio. Mounted classes include: playing polo, driving a team of horses, turn backs and rollbacks, orienteering on horseback, introduction to jumping, and building confidence and horsemanship skills by working your horse in hand through showmanship and obstacle training. Lectures include: developing an equestrian business plan, putting safety first, what to expect at a CHA Certification Clinic, and more is set to be announced. The cost is only $75 by check or money order and $80 if paying by credit card. Housing options include local hotels or bunk housing at Marmon Valley Farm, which would include breakfast on Friday. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2406189249391667.

CHA’s Region 7 (North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama) already held their conference on January 19 at Girl Scouts Carolinas Peak to Piedmont in Sophia, North Carolina. For next year’s event, stay tuned to the CHA Regional Conferences calendar at CHA Regional Conferences.

Future regional conferences will be added to the schedule throughout 2019. More information can be found at CHA Regional Conferences. In addition, skills clinics and certification clinics are added throughout the year at https://cha.horse/cha-certifications/#skills-workshops.

To get notification as events are added, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit
www.CHA-ahse.org or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse.

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Administrative Assistant Position Available at the Certified Horsemanship Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Terri Weaver – Membership Services Director

859-259-3399 or tweaver@CHA.horse


Administrative Assistant Position Available
at the Certified Horsemanship Association

(August 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is seeking an Administrative Assistant. This position, which reports to the Membership Services Director, is a non-exempt, part-time (25-30 hours/week) position. The Administrative Assistant will help CHA staff in the day-to-day operations of the CHA corporate office in the areas of membership and program services. The position is an office position in the CHA corporate office in Lexington, Kentucky.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Providing outstanding customer service to all CHA members
  • Answering and directing phone and email inquiries as needed
  • Maintaining office order and cleanliness
  • Shipping items to trade shows, clinics, conferences, etc.
  • Data-entry, word processing, and filing as needed
  • Ensuring clinics are properly listed on the CHA website, packets are properly assembled for distribution, and incoming clinics are properly reported and filed
  • Assisting in revising all CHA paperwork as needed
  • Collecting dues and contacting members as needed
  • Maintaining office supply inventory and office equipment as needed
  • Processing orders, shipments, and mailings in a timely manner
  • Insuring professional appearance of all shipped material
  • Performing any other tasks as requested by the Membership Services Director

The Administrative Assistant must have skills and experience in the following areas: clerical work, filing, shipping, and maintaining inventory, and be able to provide professional customer service. Verbal and written communication skills are a must. The Administrative Assistant is expected to be customer service-oriented in attitude and appearance.

This position requires lifting of objects up to 40 pounds and may include travel to the annual CHA International Conference and/or CHA board meetings.

The Certified Horsemanship Association is a non-profit membership association that provides services and educational materials and products for riding instructors, equine facility managers, camp staff, universities with equestrian programs, and others. CHA offers a variety of certifications for equine professionals and accredits equine facilities.

To apply for the position, please email a resume, cover letter, and references to office@CHAInstructors.com with “Administrative Assistant Job” in the subject line.

To keep up-to-date on all news from CHA, please sign up for the CHA monthly email newsletter at www.CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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Certified Horsemanship Association Seeking Advertising Sales Representative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: Christy Landwehr
720-857-9550 or clandwehr@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Seeking
Advertising Sales Representative

(November 2019) – The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) is seeking an Advertising Sales Representative. The Ad Sales Representative would report to the CHA Chief Executive Officer and is a part-time 1099 contracted position. The Ad Sales Representative would sell advertisements on behalf of CHA for a variety of projects, including The Instructor annual magazine, the CHA International Conference Program, the CHA monthly podcast, monthly CHA e-newsletters, horsemanship safety videos and more.

Applicants should have experience selling ads within the equine industry, have his or her own contacts within the industry and be willing to generate a leads list. Some leads will be provided. CHA is seeking a detail-oriented self-starter who will work remotely from a home office. The applicant must have their own working computer, Internet, phone, etc.

This position is a commission-only position with no base salary and is a 1099 contracted position. Commission ranges from 10% to 30% depending on if it is a new advertiser or repeat business. To apply for the position, please email a resume, cover letter, and references to Office@CHA.horse with “Ad Sales Job” in the subject line.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies equine professionals, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and Horsemanship Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse .

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Two New Sample Lessons Added to CHA YouTube Channel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information and Photos

Contact: CHA Office

720-857-9550 or office@CHA.horse

Certified Horsemanship Association Offers Educational
Materials for Instructors Preparing to Become Certified;
Two New Sample Lessons Added to CHA YouTube Channel

(January 2019) – As the largest certifying body in North America, the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) consistently produces new educational materials for CHA members and the general public. The latest content includes two sample lesson videos for riding instructors interested in becoming a CHA Certified Instructor or who wish to move up the levels of certification. During certification clinics, attendees are asked to teach numerous 15-minute sample riding lessons as fellow attendees act as “students” on host site horses. The two latest videos produced by CHA show the format for a sample lesson required for certification during a CHA Certification Clinic.

The first video features CHA Master Instructor Tara Reimer teaching a sample lesson at CHA Level 3 involving western turn backs. Viewers can watch the instructors perform a tack check before riders view a demonstration of a western turn back. The western turn back is used in working cow horse events and can be used to help the horse engage their hind end more. After the demonstration, Reimer then teaches the participants how to perform the maneuver. Riders then practice their turn backs while she provides feedback for each rider and then provides a self-evaluation of their riding for that day.

The second video features Reimer teaching the first lope for a CHA Level 2 lesson. Viewers can see that the lesson starts with the safety check followed by a later check of cinches by the assistant instructor after the horses have warmed up. Reimer then works on body positions of each rider as she preps the riders for the jog. Each rider receives feedback at the jog. One rider then does a demonstration of the lope while the instructor discusses how the lope is different from the jog, how to cue, and then what the seat is at the lope. After each rider performs their first lope, Reimer adds some final tips for instructors at the end of the video.

Additional videos on CHA’s website “Sample Lessons” include:

  • 3 CHA 15 Minute Sample Lessons on First Trot/Jog
  • Horseback Riding Exercises to Improve Rider Position
  • Lengthening and Shortening Horse’s Strides

In addition to these free sample lessons on YouTube, CHA also offers a 50-minute webinar called “Preparing to Become a CHA Certified Horseback Riding Instructor” with CHA Master Instructor and Clinician Laura Jones. This webinar covers all about CHA, the CHA levels, the clinic process, and how to plan for your clinic. This webinar from CHA is free and also featured on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuhOm8YjGyI.

And finally, further reading is available on CHA’s blog on “What to Expect During a Certification Clinic.”

All of these resources are helpful for anyone interested in CHA Equine Professional Certification for riding instructors, trail guides, equine facility managers, etc. To learn more about CHA Certification, please visit https://cha.horse/cha-certifications/. For further questions, please call 859-259-3399 or email office@CHA.horse.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHA.horse

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farrier, horse, hooves

7 Tips for Holding Your Horse for the Farrier

By Erica Burns

A farrier, or blacksmith, is one of the best people for a horse owner to have a good relationship with. The service he or she provides while caring for your horse’s feet—which may include hoof maintenance, corrective trimming, shoe application—is important for proper horse health and management. However, job of a farrier can be dangerous, and it’s important that you understand how to make the situation as safe as possible. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

  • Hold the Horse: Holding your horse for the farrier is safer than having the horse tied, cross-tied, or ground-tied. While your farrier is working on your horse’s feet, he or she will often be in unusual positions underneath or around the horse. The farrier may also use stands to hold up the horse’s feet so he/she can approach the hoof with tools at different angles. If a horse slips or acts up while they have a hoof in the air, it is possible the farrier could get injured in the process. If you are holding the horse, you are most likely able to move the horse away from the farrier, hopefully in turn preventing any injury. A spooked horse, or one that moves the wrong way while tied or in cross ties, might not move away from the farrier. This could potentially result in the horse stepping on him/her, the horse kicking out, or an accidental flying hoof making contact with the farrier.
  • Fly Spray Beforehand: Fly spraying your horse’s abdomen and legs will reduce your horse’s desire to stomp flies and swish their tail. A horse who is trying to stomp flies is more likely to pull their hooves away from the farrier while he or she is working or lean extra weight on the farrier in an attempt to move their feet. They may also swish their tail around while the farrier is working on the hind hooves, which can be irritating and disruptive to the farrier’s work.
  • Maintain Safe Distances: Be sure to keep your horse a safe distance from other horses that might nip or bite while the farrier is working. If a nearby horse reaches his head out and bites the horse you’re holding for the farrier, the horse you are holding is more likely to be concerned about moving away from the instigator as opposed to looking out for the farrier beneath him. Most farriers will prefer to work on horses in an aisle as opposed to inside a stall, because there is more room to move around and away from the horse in case of an emergency. There are instances, however, where it will be best to trim a horse inside a stall. Generally, it’s best to let your farrier determine if he or she would like to work on the horse’s feet inside the stall or out in the aisle.
  • Avoid Hazards: Make sure there is nothing dangerous nearby that the farrier or the horse could trip on or get injured by, like pitchforks, lead ropes, buckets, saddle racks, or other barn items that may become a potential hazard if the horse moves while the farrier is working.
  • Practice. If you have a young or stubborn horse, or a horse that is not used to having to hold his feet up for the farrier, go ahead and practice. Work on picking the hooves up, stretch each leg forward or backward like a farrier would do, and even tap gently on the bottom of the hoof with the flat side of a hoof pick or the palm of your hand. This can help the horse get used to things that the farrier is likely to do. The more you handle your horse’s feet, the more used to it they will become, and the better they will behave when the farrier does arrive.
  • Safe Handling: The best way for you to be able to move your horse away from the farrier in case of an emergency is to stand on the same side of the horse as the farrier. That is to say, while the farrier is working on the front and hind left hooves, you are on the left side of the horse; likewise, with the right hooves, you are on the right side of the horse. With the lead safely folded in your hand, be sure to be facing your farrier, and paying attention to where he or she is at all times. Don’t stand directly in front of the horse’s shoulder, where the farrier will need to stretch the leg forward if they use a stand. Instead, stand a little further off to the side, so you can see the horse, see the farrier, and are out of the way of the space the farrier needs to work within. When he or she switches sides, you should also switch sides. You should always stand while holding your horse for the farrier. Always stay alert to what’s going on in the barn and the surrounding area. Your farrier may guide you if he or she has different preferences.
  • Additional Restraint: Most horses don’t need to be restrained for the farrier, but there may be instances when restraint is appropriate. The most common choices for restraint are a lip chain, lip twitch, or a tranquilizer. You should feel comfortable using restraint if you are going to apply it for the farrier. If you are unsure which one of these methods of restraint is most appropriate, talk to both your veterinarian and your farrier to determine which method is best for your horse. It’s important to remember that state law may dictate that only a veterinarian can give a tranquilizer or other medication to a horse. If this the case in your state, then you will need to plan to have your veterinarian out when the farrier is there.

A life-long lover of horses, Erica Burns comes from a diverse background in the equine industry, with a degree in Equine Studies, as well as work experience with polo horses, Thoroughbreds, and lesson programs, including the programs she currently manages at North Country School and Camp Treetops in Lake Placid, NY.

2018 CHA International Conference Speakers

Kathy Alm

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Kathy began as chief executive officer of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) in August 2014. For the previous 15 years, she served as executive director of Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. She grew the previously grassroots organization from a $280,000 annual operating budget to a professional $2.1 million organization. Kathy served as PATH Intl.’s board president in the 2010-2012 term, first joining the board of trustees in 2005. She has facilitated numerous workshops and presentations on board, staff, fundraising, and strategic planning and enjoys the opportunity to share her experience, as well as learn from others. Her dedication to the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) spans more than 18 years with a passion that was ignited the moment she walked through the door at her first therapeutic riding center.

Developing or Re-developing Your Board: A Roadmap for Successful Board Recruitment and Engaging Your Board for Success

Friday at 3:15 p.m.; Hilton Salon 2

Finding new board members with experience and passion and engaging with them afterward is critical to an effective board. In this session, learn strategies to identify the type of board member you need, where and how to recruit, and how to assess an applicant’s potential for your organization. In addition, you will learn how to engage your board for the greatest organizational return on your investment. You will leave with a roadmap to developing/redeveloping a board and engagement tools for organizational success.

 

Jenny Beverage

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Jenny is a lifelong rider who was able to join her passion for horses with her love of marketing innovative products. When a family acquaintance died due to a head injury while riding, she became passionate about helmet safety and has been part of Troxel helmets for 15 years developing the western helmet market.  he brought over 15+ years’ experience with showing and training Morgan horses in hunt seat, over fences, dressage and western pleasure, as well as her marketing background to the company. She now competes for fun in Equine Trail Sports rides, team sorting, and rides to gather cattle. Jenny, her husband, and her three children have a commercial cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon and enjoy working together on it as a family. Currently, Jenny is the Brand Manager for Troxel Helmets and also works on various projects for Troxel’s parent company, Weaver Leather, LLC.

Helmet Focus Group

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

What do you love and hate about helmets? Troxel wants to hear your opinion and talk about what is missing in the market, what could be better, and to get your feedback on their products.

 

Dr. Jerry Black

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Dr. Black is a 1971 graduate of the veterinary school at Colorado State University and is currently the Director of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences as well as the Director of Equine Sciences in the College of Agriculture Sciences. He is a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association. He is the immediate past chairman of the board of trustees of the American Horse Council and a national director of the American Quarter Horse Association. Dr. Black has received the distinguished alumnus award from Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and is an American Association of Equine Practitioners Distinguished Life Member. Dr. Black and his wife, Melinda, show cutting horses and ride in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Welcome to Colorado – American Horse Council Economic Impact Study

Friday at 2 p.m.; Hilton Salons 4 and 6

During our annual meeting, find out more about Colorado and about the current issues facing our equine industry as a nation and what our involvement brings to the overall economic impact. 

 

Dr. Jason Bruemmer

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Dr. Bruemmer grew up in the Texas horse industry and has served the industry as a scientist, researcher, lecturer, and a horseman. He has been a cornerstone of the outreach program at Colorado State University, working with breeders, owners, and clients to increase their knowledge of equine reproduction and management. He was instrumental in developing a protocol to harvest epididymal sperm from deceased stallions, allowing the owner to preserve the valuable genetics for the future. Stallion behavior, physiology, and management are major fields of interest to him. His research in the cryopreservation of semen and membrane integrity continues to work for improvement in stallion semen extenders. Stallion behavior is an often overlooked component of reproductive management and fertility assessment. An avid horseman and polo player, Dr. Bruemmer still finds time to work with the CSU polo team and finds time for the occasional chukker himself.

How to Start Polo with Your Horses and Students 

Saturday at 9 a.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Come to this session to learn the basics of starting to teach polo to your students and horses. 

 

Karen Burbank

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Karen was born and raised in Massachusetts. Having grown up schooling in dressage, jumping, and competitive trail, her interests eventually led her to Colorado, where she earned a B.S. in Equine Studies from Colorado State University. As an undergrad, Karen became involved with CHA after attending a combined clinic.polo She became a CHA Master Instructor two years later. She has spoken at CHA regional and international conferences. Karen has managed two dressage facilities, wrangled at three guest ranches, been a small and large animal vet tech, and has taught countless lessons to aspiring equestrians. For the past seven years, Karen has been the head instructor, lesson program coordinator, and dude ranch vacation specialist for Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland, CO.

The Perfect Match: The Art of Assigning Mounts for a Large Group Riding Program on Trail and in the Arena 

Sunday at 1:30 p.m.; CSU Lecture Room

In a large group riding program with various experience levels, it is critical to match horses to the right riders. Instructors and trail guides are responsible for the safety of clients. Knowing your horses and gathering essential information from riders will help assign mounts. Through a series of detail-oriented examples and scenarios, in relation to both horse-and-rider information and evaluation, you will see how to effectively and efficiently make the perfect match. If you pay close attention to details, magic might happen, and horses and humans will benefit. 

 

Jessie Butler

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Jessie has been involved in the therapeutic riding industry for most of her life. In August 2011, after her freshman year at Montana State University (MSU), she was certified by PATH Intl. She then worked as a therapeutic riding instructor at Eagle Mount in Bozeman, MT, during school, and at Front Range Exceptional Equestrians in Fort Collins, CO, during summers. Jessie competed on MSU’s Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team. Jessie graduated in 2014 with honors with a B.S. in Animal Science, Emphasis of Study, Equine Science. In February 2016, Jessie achieved her CHA Certification at Level 4 English/Jumping and Level 2 Western. Currently, Jessie is the Program Manager at Front Range Exceptional Equestrians and is a therapeutic riding instructor at Hearts and Horses in Loveland, CO. In addition, she has her own lesson program.

Disabilities in the Arena: Teaching Safety, Having Fun and Achieving Success

Saturday at 9 a.m.; Adam Atkinson Arena

Having a rider with a disability in your lessons can present challenges to both the instructor and student. This presentation will highlight some tips and practical ways to help all your students achieve success safely by using creativity and adaptations for equipment and teaching techniques.

 

Sherry Butler

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Sherry has worked in the equine-assisted activity and therapy (EAAT) industry for more than 30 years. She graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) with a B.S. in Veterinary Science and then continued to earn her DVM from CSU three years later. After graduation, she provided veterinary care as a volunteer for program horses and then became a certified PATH Intl. therapeutic riding instructor. She currently serves on the board of the Front Range Exceptional Equestrians program, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Fort Collins, CO. In addition, Sherry is an instructor in the Equine Sciences program at CSU where she teaches and advises students seeking careers in EAAT as an instructor or therapist. She is the chair of the PATH International Standards Task Force.

Disabilities in the Arena: Teaching Safety, Having Fun and Achieving Success

Saturday at 9 a.m.; Adam Atkinson Arena

Having a rider with a disability in your lessons can present challenges to both the instructor and student. This presentation will highlight some tips and practical ways to help all your students achieve success safely by using creativity and adaptations for equipment and teaching techniques.

 

Jennifer Cole

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Jennifer is a professor of Equine Studies and coach of the Ranch Horse Team at Central Wyoming College. She and her husband raise and train Quarter Horses for use on the ranch, as well as for competition. Jennifer competes in reined cow horse, versatility ranch horse, and cutting. 

Simple and Flying Lead Changes

Saturday at 3 p.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Have you ever struggled with lead changes or with teaching lead changes? Ever wondered what type of body control you need a horse to have to prepare for lead changes? We will study lead change from the horse’s prospective and how we as riders can enhance our horse’s ability to correctly and easily change leads. 

 

Dr. Bob Coleman 

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Dr. Coleman graduated from the University of Manitoba with a bachelor’s in Agriculture with a major in Animal Sciences and then a Master of Science in 1978. He worked in the Canadian feed industry as a nutritionist for two major feed companies. In 1980, he became the extension horse specialist for Alberta Agriculture and completed his PhD at the University of Alberta with a focus in Equine Nutrition. In 1998, Dr. Coleman became the University of Kentucky’s equine extension specialist. He also teaches in the Equine Science and Management program, advises undergraduate students, and served as the program’s director of undergraduate studies until May 2017. He has researched voluntary forage intake of horses and the use of rotational grazing practices to meet maintenance needs of adult horses. He has worked with University of Minnesota faculty to develop the Healthy Horse app, which helps owners to estimate their horse’s current and ideal body weight. He is currently CHA’s Vice President of New Initiatives and is a Site Visitor Trainer. 

What is in That Bag of Feed? 

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

This session is a discussion on reading the feed tag to make sure you buy what you need and then use what you buy in a proper fashion. Understanding the information on the tag can help horse owners make informed decisions.

 

Dr. Stephen Coleman

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Dr. Coleman grew up in western Canada before moving to central Kentucky in 1998. He joined the CSU Department of Animal Sciences in 2015. He is now an assistant professor of equine genetics in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University. Dr. Coleman received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Biotechnology, Master of Science in Veterinary Science, and his PhD in Veterinary Science from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Coleman’s work investigating equine gene structure contributed to the sequencing and characterization of the horse genome.  

Equine Genetics: How to Breed for Certain Traits such as Performance and Color

Friday at 4:30 p.m.; Hilton Aggie Room

Why were American Pharoah and Justify successful when so many others had failed? Their triumphs were the product of the trainer’s and jockey’s hard work, luck, and genetics. Studying genetics tells us how fundamental genetic differences between horses influence performance, health, and disease. This session will discuss the application of genetic principles for improved understanding of important quantitative and qualitative traits in horses. Topics discussed will include phenotypic and genetic variation, how genes work together to produce a phenotype, and selection for genetic improvement.

 

Elizabeth Duffy

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Elizabeth is the client development manager for Camp America, the largest provider of international staff for American summer camps. She recruits riding instructors for camps all over the country each year, ensuring their knowledge will be shared with thousands of kids who will improve their riding or discover their love of horses for the first time. She grew up riding in Connecticut, and then traveled and studied throughout Europe, South America, and Central America. Since joining Camp America in 2008, Elizabeth has spearheaded web design projects, organized recruitment events overseas for hundreds of camp professionals, and worked in conjunction with the Department of State to improve standards compliance for private sector exchange programs. Elizabeth resides in Georgia, where she enjoys lake life with her dogs, Sadie and Rowan, and her beloved horses, Smudge and Molly.

International Staff: Neigh-to-Z

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

This session will cover arious topics on the J-1 Summer Camp Counselor program and strategies for staff success and safety in an ever-changing regulatory environment.

 

Jennifer Eaton

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Jennifer obtained her Massachusetts Instructors License in 1992. She has a bachelor’s degree in Developmental Psychology and has taught all types riders. She joined the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) in 2006 as a member coach. In her third year as a coach, she took a volunteer position as regional president and subsequently held a leadership role in her area until 2014 when she retired as zone chairperson. She is an IEA show steward and often travels outside New England. IEA hired Jennifer in 2009 in the membership office to help coaches and parents with member enrollment and management of their competitions. She has assisted IEA with growth and resource development leading to an expansion in membership, which exceeded 11,000 members in 2014.  In 2012, Jennifer was promoted to membership marketing coordinator. Jennifer was given the 2014 Massachusetts Horseman’s Council “Person of the Year” award for her contributions to the development of youth equestrian opportunities in her area.

Strength and Balance Exercises for Riders of All Abilities 

Sunday at 1:30 p.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

This session will involve strength and balance exercises at all three gaits for both English and Western riders at any level. Come prepared to take some good ideas home with you and start doing them with your students right away.

 

Karen Fagan

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Karen supports her horse habit by working as a licensed professional counselor in Aurora, CO. For the past 18 years, her busy practice, PsychedIN, has offered clients a “leg up” to improved mental health and stress management as Karen incorporates elements of both her knowledge of horses and clinical expertise in her practical, approachable style. Outside the office, Karen competes with her two daughters and their Arabian horses in endurance riding in the Mountain region. Karen combines her passions as a facilitator for “Horse Sense for Leaders,” a unique program utilized by organizations throughout the U.S. to promote leadership development. Karen has designed and presented workshops for mental health professionals as well as for the general public on anxiety and stress management. She has been highlighted as a guest expert on Marriage.com and her blog, “PsychedIN,” has followers around the globe.  

Understanding and Supporting the Fearful Rider

Friday at 3:15 p.m.; Hilton Legends Room 

“I’ve always wanted to learn to ride, but I’m afraid of horses…” “I had a bad wreck and now I’m afraid to get back on…” Do you ever want to say, “I am not a therapist!” Good news! You don’t have to be! This informational presentation will explain the mechanics of the fear response and give you strategies to help fearful riders overcome barriers to becoming a relaxed, willing partner with their horse. Participants will be able to understand the neuropsychological underpinnings of the fear response, be able to help riders understand and normalize their fears, develop strategies for helping a rider work through fearful moments and know when you’re in over your head, and what to do then. 

 

Teddy Franke

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Teddy is a horse trainer, riding instructor, and farrier from North Central Oregon where he manages a camp horse program. Teddy started with CHA as a student more than 25 years ago. He is now a Master Instructor and Assistance Clinic Instructor and holds certifications in Instructors for Riders with Disabilities, Pack/Trail, Equine Facility Management, and is a Site Visitor. Teddy has helped to lead horse programs in three states, been a regional director in both Regions 1 and 11, served on the board for the American Youth Horse Council, and operates a successful equine business. The CHA mission to “change lives through safe horse experiences” has been a part of Teddy’s life, and he hopes to continue those experiences for others. Visit frankeequine.com or check out the Live Equestrian YouTube channel

Commercial Driver License – Do You Have to Comply?

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

Will horse owners need a CDL to haul in the future? What are the legal requirements for professionals? This discussion will seek to answer common questions about new laws concerning equine transportation in the U.S.

 

Nina Ekholm Fry

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Nina Ekholm Fry, MSSc., CCTP, is the director of equine programs at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection and adjunct professor at University of Denver where she leads the Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner Certificate program. A former equestrian Special Olympics coach, Nina teaches equine behavior at Yavapai College in Arizona. She is a CHA Certified Instructor and holds a certificate in Equine Management from the Vocational College of Ostrobothnia. As a practitioner member of the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES), she is dedicated to ethical equitation, correct application of learning theory, and the understanding of equine cognition, behavior, and mental states as part of equine management, assessment, handling, and training. From 2015 to 2016, Nina served as the interim program director for the Equine Initiative at the Yavapai Humane Society in Arizona where she started an adoption-focused equine rehabilitation and re-training program and designed the YHS Equine Center. Nina consults on equine behavior and facility design nationally. 

The Science of Equine Behavior and Learning – Practical Application for Riding Instruction

Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; CSU Lecture Room

Human-horse interactions have increasingly become a focus of scientific study, and with the emergence of groups such as the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES), scientifically-supported information about the horse’s experience in riding and interaction is more accessible than ever. Going beyond specific horsemanship methods and lingo, and avoiding the unintended consequences of humanizing the horse, principles emerging from research that inform ethical and effective interactions with horses will be discussed. This presentation contains scientifically supported information about how horses learn and think, with examples of practical application that help riding instructors reduce the occurrence of conflict between horse and rider and manage risk for all involved. 

 

Julie Goodnight

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Julie is a Master Clinician and the International Spokesperson for CHA and is known for her weekly RFD-TV show, Horse Master, and her no-nonsense training for riders of all disciplines. Her methods are grounded in natural horsemanship, classical riding, and understanding horse behavior. She teaches at clinics and expos everywhere and offers online education, how-to DVDs, and her own tack and training tools at JulieGoodnight.com. 

Behavior and Training: Science-based Theories, What Works Best on Horses and Why

Saturday at 3 p.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Exploring science-based training theories, such as positive vs. negative reinforcement, stages of learning, desensitizing vs. sensitizing, and how horses learn.

Add Spice to Your Lessons with Pole Dancing! Teach Valuable Riding Skills Using Garrocha, a Traditional Equestrian Art of the Spanish Vaqueros

Sunday at 9 a.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Teach valuable riding skills using Garrocha, a traditional equestrian art of the Spanish vaqueros. An excellent teaching tool for riders of all ability levels—walk, trot and canter. Garrocha helps develops a rider’s balance, seat and leg aids, circles and serpentines, leg yielding, speed control, and teaches less reliance on the reins.

Fine Line Between Instructor and Trainer: Teaching Students on Privately Owned Horses Sunday at Noon; Bill Pickett Arena

Riding instructors train people to ride and horse trainers train horses to be ridden, right? But often the line gets blurred when students bring their own horses to lessons. Where is the line? How do you determine if it’s a horse training problem or a rider problem? Between feral horses, adopted horses, and an abundance of idle horses, there are many riding students mounted inappropriately. What is the riding instructor’s role?

 

Dr. Temple Grandin

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Dr. Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals. Born in Boston, Dr. Grandin’s achievements are remarkable because she was an autistic child. At age two, she had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Many hours of speech therapy and intensive teaching enabled Dr. Grandin to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard due to constant teasing. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated her to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer. Dr. Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974, she was employed as livestock editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975, she earned her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Dr. Grandin was awarded her PhD in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989.

Keynote Speech – Animals Make Us Human

Sunday at 7 p.m. ; Hilton Salons 3, 4 and 6

Dr. Grandin will address how animals think and feel, visual thinking, avoiding fear memories and sensory bred thinking during this visual talk.

 

Laura Hamrin

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Laura has a passion for teaching and riding. She started riding at three, competing at five, and then continued with eventing and classical dressage. She graduated from Morvan Park International Equestrian Institute and manages her family’s horse farm in North Georgia where she managed and trained competition and camp horses. Then she started working with special needs children and adults and fell in love with the therapeutic industry. Laura received her PATH Intl. instructor certification in 2007 and CHA Level 3 in Western and 4 in English certifications. Additionally, she is part of the clinic staff for Instructors for Riders with Disabilities (IRD) clinics and is currently working on completing her Clinic Instructor certification for IRD clinics. Laura is the equine director at Victory Therapy Center and a CHA State Representative for Texas. 

Yielding the Haunches and the Shoulders

Saturday at 10:30 a.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

This session will discuss: breaking skill down step-by-step for the beginner; or, for the advanced rider, training/working with a young horse.

 

Dr. Tanja Hess

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In 1990, Dr. Hess became a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine in Federal Fluminense University, Brazil. After working some years as a private practitioner, she received her Master of Science in Equine Clinics from Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and then her PhD in Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. During that time, she received the Pratt Fellow honors from 2003 to 2005. Dr. Hess has spent more than 15 years working in veterinary medicine and equine nutrition research. In her personal time, Dr. Hess enjoys endurance riding.

Nutrition for the Active Older Lesson Horse

Saturday at 9 a.m.; CSU Lecture Room

Nutrition and feeding of the older horse can be similar to feeding adult horses. According to the National Research Council, requirements of old horses are no different than for active horses. However, if older horses are overweight, underweight, arthritic, or have teeth problems, feeding requirements are adjusted. According to a survey, the older horse population has increased due to better knowledge on dental care and feeding methods. Older horses can be as active as younger horses and be used for work, and in these cases, requirements are based on adult working horses.

 

Dr. Kathi Jogan

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Dr. Jogan is a longtime equine industry professional who has managed, trained, and shown various horse breeds representing multiple disciplines. Currently on the faculty at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Jogan offers courses in equine science and engages students in internships in the U.S. and abroad. She has directed many fundraising and experiential events to promote her University’s Animal Science Department. Dr. Jogan is a member of the Equine Science Society, the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, and on the CHA Board. 

Flip or Flop? Equine Safety Meets Barn Design

Friday at 3:15 p.m.; Hilton – Aggie Room

There are many things that we can do to make a barn horse-safe. Attend this session to learn tips and tricks to make your barn not only safe for your horse but labor-efficient—whether you are building a new barn or retrofitting an old barn.

 

Christie Schulte Kappert

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Christie serves as program officer for Watershed Animal Fund’s equine initiative, The Right Horse, which seeks to make lasting, transformative improvements to equine welfare in the United States. Christie is a skilled program and marketing manager with experience assembling equine industry partners to collaborate on complex industry-wide issues. Prior to joining Arnall Family Foundation, she led marketing and partner development for the American Horse Council’s Time to Ride Initiative. Christie earned dual degrees in Equine Science and Business Administration from Colorado State University where she graduated manga cum laude. She has also received certificates in Strategic Planning and Meeting Facilitation Strategies from the University of Texas Governor’s Center for Management Development. In her spare time, she participates in stock horse events, having been a top-ten finalist in two Extreme Mustang Makeovers. She is the proud owner of two Mustangs and one burro, all adopted. Her and her husband raise a small herd of beef cattle and live outside Austin, TX.

The Right Horse Initiative

Saturday at 10:30 a.m.; CSU Lecture Room

The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of equine industry and welfare professionals and advocates working together through collaboration, education, training, and public awareness on a national level to improve the lives of horses in transition and increase horse adoption in the United States. The Right Horse is proud to partner with CHA, in collaboration with Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, to fill a dual goal of placing horses in transition in new occupations while providing quality horses to CHA instructors seeking safe, reliable horses for their horsemanship programs. The Right Horse Initiative is partnering with Colorado State University’s Temple Grandin Equine Center to pilot an expansion of the regional training center. This partnership will focus on training transition horses for placement in equine-assisted therapy, beginner horsemanship programs, or other placement opportunities. 

 

Christy Landwehr

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Christy, who is the CHA chief executive officer, has been active in the horse industry for over 35 years and competed in a multitude of breeds and disciplines. She is a CHA Master Level Instructor, Clinic Instructor, Site Accreditor, and Equine Facility Manager and has taught students in 4-H and Pony Club. She is past president of the American Youth Horse Council and a past board member for the Colorado Horse Council. She also founded the University of Colorado at Boulder Intercollegiate Horse Show Association equestrian team. Christy is an AQHA and APHA Professional Horseman. Christy recently joined the Colorado State University Equine Sciences Advisory Council and the American Veterinary Medical Association Equine Advisory Committee. She has used her undergraduate degree in public relations and speech communication from California State University Fullerton and a graduate degree in mass communication and journalism from University of Colorado at Boulder as the sponsorship and youth programs manager for the Arabian Horse Association, a trainer for Skill Path Seminars, and as the development director for The Urban Farm. Christy lives in Aurora, CO, with her husband, John; her two boys, Sean and Kyle; and her lesson horses, Sox and Chip.

Your CHA

Friday at 7 p.m. ; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

Visit this roundtable to find out about CHA member benefits you might not be using and what the future of the association looks like.

 

Diane Lesher

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Diane, is president, of Equisure, Inc., located in Aurora, CO. Diane has been with Equsiure for 20 years. Equisure, an insurance agency, specializes in providing insurance to many animal associations, United States Equestrian, the United States Polo Association, the Arabian Horse Association, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, the American Endurance Ride Conference, the American Kennel Club, and many more. Diane can be reached at diane@equisure-inc.com or 800-752-2472. Visit the website at www.equisure-inc.com.

Equine Insurance; Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

 

Garret Leonard

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Garret is the director of Harmony Equine Center, 1 168-acre center near Franktown, CO, provides relief from suffering, rehabilitation, and chances for new lives to abused and neglected horses seized by law enforcement agencies. Since its opening in 2012, Garret has overseen the center and 1,400+ horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules from throughout Colorado. Once the animals are restored to health by staff, several on-call veterinarians and farriers, and around 80 volunteers, they are offered for adoption to responsible new owners through an application and interview process. Currently, Harmony Equine Center works with 46 sheriff’s offices with Memorandums of Understanding or Partnership Agreements to house the horses as part of the impound. He is working with the American Association of Equine Practitioners on protocols for refeeding starved horses as well as assisting the ASPCA on evaluation, training, and placement of equines after rehabilitation. 

Harmony Equine Center

Saturday at 1:30 p.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

The Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™ is a private rehabilitation and adoption facility for abused and neglected horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules that have been removed from their owners by law enforcement authorities. It also serves as a central hub where horses from humane societies and rescue groups in the Midwest and southwestern United States can receive training and rehoming. In March of 2018, the Harmony began opening its doors to privately owned horses in need of rehoming. With over 1,100 horses placed over the past six years, find out how they work with adopters, train horses, and make a match. The Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center is a member of the Certified Horsemanship Association and received the highest marks in facility approval since CHA has been certifying facilities. Currently, the Harmony Equine Center, Colorado State University, and The Right Horse have partnered to find homes for these horses as possible lesson mounts. Come to this session to find out how Harmony accesses each horse that arrives on the ground and under saddle.

 

Lisa Lombardi

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Lisa started as a wrangler at a summer camp that offered a performance drill team to campers. Lisa’s experience includes reining, jumping, dressage, trail riding, horse camping, mounted color guard, and mounted assistance unit with the American Quarter Horse Association and Appaloosa Horse Club. She has worked with Pam Prudler, one of the original CHA founders; Mike Boyle, then president of NRHA; Diana Thompson, equine acupressure expert and author of “Acupressure Point Charts for Horses;” and many others. Lisa earned a B.A. in English with an emphasis in education. She also enjoys writing equine articles for the Sonoma County Horse Journal. Lisa has been CHA Certified since 1990 and is currently CHA Clinic Staff as well as a Site Evaluator. Lisa teaches lessons on her nine horses and clients’ horses, as well as at an after-school and a summer camp program. Lisa puts on monthly play days, and her students compete in dressage and jumping. Lisa has also taught hands-on equine science courses at Santa Rosa Junior College. Lisa is also PATH Intl. certified and CIEP-ED certified.

Preventing Lesson Horse Burnout

Saturday at 1:30 p.m.; CSU Lecture Room

What are some techniques that can be used to promote longevity of lesson horses, and prevent burnout? It is indeed important to select appropriate horses to be used for lessons. However, after we purchase them and put the time and effort into preparing them to work as lesson horses, how do we keep them sound, safe, and willing to do their job long-term? Through interactive discussions and activities, the participants of this presentation will gain insights on how to prevent lesson horse burnout.

 

Shelly Mann

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Shelley grew up riding hunters and jumpers in Michigan in a decidedly non-horsey family. Heading to Kentucky for college, she spent several years in academia teaching riding and horse care at the university level. Shelley has been with The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., for 16 years as the director of marketing and communications. She blends a creative side with a passion for horses, horse care, and rider safety in hopes of helping more individuals enjoy a life in and around the barn. In her spare time, Shelley still rides and shows hunter jumpers from her small farm outside of Lexington, KY, and often can be seen in the judge’s box at local horse shows around the country.

United States Pony Club Riding Centers Explained

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

Find the resources you need. USPC, the equine educational industry leader, provides access to exclusive instructional materials for ALL instructors, professors, teachers, and educators. Organized, easy-to-understand lesson plans and resources make teaching easier. 

We will discuss: 1. Resources to teach unmounted equine topics with ready-to-use lesson plans for students and teachers. 2. Equine Curriculum, including an activity guide for instructors (with teaching tools, grading options, and progressive activities) plus student worksheets based on USPC’s Standards of Proficiency. 3. Pony Club IQ and webinars provides a collection of e-Learning technology for students to access relevant equine health and educational topics on their own.

 

Heidi Nyland Melocco

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Heidi Nyland Melocco, MS, founded The Whole Picture, LLC, to help small businesses thrive online and in the media. She keeps up with social media trends and guides her clients to the top of the feeds. She has built social media accounts from zero to hundreds of thousands of followers. She helps to manage social media for top equine product companies—planning contests, videos, memes, and more. Her clients include horse trainers, equestrian fashion designers, tack manufacturers, leather craftsmen, natural feed and supplement companies, and more. Heidi uses her background in journalism and photography to present a professional and polished look that helps her clients stand out! Her photography and journalism are seen regularly in Horse & Rider, Horse Illustrated, and Young Rider magazines and has earned American Horse Publications and AIM Media Awards top honors. Heidi works in an industry she understands—she is a PATH Intl. certified instructor and cares for a registered APHA gelding named “Q” (who acts as her top equine model). Visit www.Whole-Picture.com

Making Social Media Posts Mean the Most When You’re Short On Time

Friday at 4:30 p.m.; Hilton Salon 2

You know you need to keep up with social media—but what is most important to do and how do you make time to do it? We’ll talk about the kind of posts that you need to make, where to post, and how to post if you’re short on time. You’ll leave with tips to help you engage your audiences and get attention for your riding program. Video is king, and content matters! Learn how to get video online easily and create fun, engaging posts. Plus, learn my rules for posting: what not to say, how to use tags and hashtags to get noticed, and when you should and shouldn’t use apps to automate your posts.  

 

Dale Myler

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Dale and his brothers, Ron and Bob, are third generation horsemen and are three of the world’s leading bit designers. Dale’s extensive research into equine dentistry and physiology has evolved our understanding of not only the mechanics of bits but also how they can contribute to the communication between horse and rider. The unique Myler designs focus on mentally relaxing horses so the rider can achieve more effective communication. Known for his kind and thoughtful approach, Dale is motivated by a genuine desire to improve the relationship between horse and rider. He has done bitting clinics and seminars all over the U.S. and around the world for every level of rider and horse: Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Wales, England, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Poland, Switzerland, Brazil, and Austria. He speaks at expos and for many organizations, as well as conducting private clinics and seminars. 

Bit Evasion: How to Recognize It and What the Cause Is

Sunday at 9 a.m.; CSU Lecture Room

This lecture will examine the behavioral signs of bit resistance, review the primary cause of resistance and how to address it. Through a PowerPoint presentation, the audience can clearly see examples of horses resisting the bit, followed by a counter example of how the horse changes after re-bitting.

How Changing a Horse’s Bit Can Change the Horse

Sunday at 3 p.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Changing a horse’s bit to correctly address bit resistance changes the pressure points that the rider uses to communicate with the horse. This session reviews how to successfully transition to a new bit, how the rider needs to adjust to that new communication, and how to recognize when a bit isn’t working for your horse. 

 

NRHA Trainer Ryan Rushing

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NRHA Professional Ryan Rushing owns Ryan Rushing Performance Horses, LLC, in Eaton, CO, with his wife, Amy. Operating out of Spicer Arena, the NRHA Professional specializes in training and showing aged event reining horses and coaching non pros as well as hosting clinics, sales, and lessons. With NRHA Lifetime Earnings in excess of $122,000, Rushing has earned top finishes in the NRHA Open Derby, the NRHA Open Futurity, and the National Reining Breeders Classic.

National Reining Horse Association Ride a Reiner

Saturday at Noon; Bill Pickett Arena

Take a spin on a trained reining horse for only $55. This fundraiser goes towards helping those in financial need attend a CHA Clinic. 

 

Amy Obringer

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Amy was the founder and director of Blue Waters Youth Ranch, a 501(c)3, dedicated to providing a free ranch experience to foster and adopted children in Washington State from 2009 to 2012. She has been a CHA Certified Instructor and active 4-H horse leader since 2009. Before raising four children, Amy actively competed in team penning, sorting, and barrel racing. She currently owns and operates CowboyCO LLC, a large boarding facility in Southern California and competes at local horse shows and gymkhanas with her children. 

Barrel Racing For All Levels of RidersSunday at 3 p.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Imagine three barrels set up in a cloverleaf pattern. This class will teach the “Sit, Lift, and Look” strategy of barrel racing. We will focus on how to set up your pocket before the barrel, the how and why behind slow practice, and drills to keep your horse turning well while remaining quiet and soft. Barrel horses do not need to be hot, and we will discuss how to avoid gate problems.

 

Margrit Parker

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Attorney Margrit works with clients in all phases of business and career development, including equine professionals, and helps with various contracts, liability release forms, and sales, lease, and boarding agreements. Margrit enjoys representing equine clients in proactive business planning and management, litigation, defense of claims of malpractice and liability, appeals, and appearances before licensing boards. This native of California majored in Equine Science and Zoology at Colorado State University. Margrit co‐authors an annual case law survey on equine torts and insurance law for the American Bar Association, is a member and past‐chair of the American Bar Association’s Equine Law Subcommittee of the Animal Law Committee, and serves on the board of the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center. Margrit was named the Denver Bar Association’s 2014 Young Lawyer of the Year, and is a repeat Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star. For more about Margrit, visit www.linkedin.com/in/margritlentparker and http://childsmccune.com/staff/margrit-lent-parker

Practicing Safety is Not Enough: The Importance of Pushing Paper—Contracts, Liability Releases, and Insurance

Saturday at 3 p.m.; CSU Lecture Room

The CHA mission is to change lives through safe experiences with horses. As an equine professional, one of your chief goals is maintaining a safe environment for your equine activities. You spend lots of time developing your teaching and horse training skills, building your horse health knowledge, and developing and marketing your business, but how much time have you spent preparing for when things go wrong, despite your best efforts? Dealing with contracts and insurance is an essential part of what you do. Ensuring that your contracts, releases, and insurance are appropriately in place protects you and your business and can allow you to identify ways to have safer and more positive experiences with your clients.

 

Beth Powers

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Beth, of Bellefontaine, OH, is our current CHA President, a CHA Certified Instructor, and a CHA Certified Overnight Guide, as well as a Site Trainer and Visitor. She was the Equestrian Director for the Bar W Ranch at YMCA Camp Willson in Bellefontaine where she oversaw a herd of 50+ horses, a staff, and all of the lesson programs, trail rides, summer camps, and overnight events. Beth has shared her knowledge on teaching techniques and the process in which people learn different skills as a presenter at the CHA International Conference and at CHA regional conferences, the American Youth Horse Council Symposium, and at Equine Affaire in Ohio. She has also been the keynote at the Wisconsin State 4-H Conference and a Volunteer of the Year for CHA. Beth has been published in the American Camping Association magazine and Stable Management magazine. She is an American Quarter Horse Professional Horseman. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University in Ohio. 

CHA Annual Membership Meeting

Friday at 2 p.m.; Hilton Salons 4 and 6

Come and learn what your association is doing and how it can help you and how you can become more actively involved. 

Developing an Educated Eye with Group Riding 

Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

This presentation will involve audience participation. Here is a chance to develop an educated eye while observing riders demonstrate typical equitation faults (safely). We will learn skills to become a better instructors from each other. There will be something for every level of instructor for both western and English riders.

 

Tara Reimer

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Tara has always been involved with horses. Tara and husband Derek own/operate Cloud 9 Ranch near Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada, where she teaches western and English riding, vaulting, equine-assisted psychotherapy, group discovery, and therapeutic riding, as well as trains horses, judges shows, and gives clinics. She is a CHA Clinic Instructor and Region 2 Director. In 2013, CHA name Tara the Instructor of the Year, and in 2016 her horse Arnie was awarded School Horse of the Year! Tara is certified with EAGALA as the equine specialist on the team. She is president of the Canadian Western Horse Association and longtime exhibitor with AQHA. Through Equine Canada she is a western coach and general performance judge. Tara continues to show horses in many events, ranging from dressage to working cow horse. She is fascinated by the healing qualities that horses offer humans. Tara has presented at the CHA International Conferences in Kentucky and Tennessee as well as at Horse 3 in Brandon. Visit www.cloud9ranch.ca.

Transitions for All Gaits

Saturday at 10:30 a.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Improve the timing and smoothness of transitions between all gaits when you learn more about what changes your horse is making through its’ body and how you as the rider need to adjust. Become more aware of what your horse’s body should feel like and how you can help your horse through the transitions. The horse always does their best so if your transitions need improving, learn how to help your horse! Know your gaits and footfalls well before the lesson.

 

Tiare Santistevan

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Tiare is an instructor in the Equine Sciences Program at Colorado State University. In her youth, her family raised Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in Kauai, HI. She received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education and a Master’s of Agriculture in Cooperative Extension Education from Colorado State University (CSU) and is a 2008 graduate of the Colorado Agriculture and Rural Leadership (CARL) program, a United States Hunter Jumper Association certified trainer, and a CHA Master Instructor in both English and western. Tiare joined the faculty at CSU in August 2001 and teaches Equine Event and Sales Management, Equine Management, Riding Instructor Training, Preparation for Equine Competition, and part of the Introduction to Equine Science class. Tiare is also the internship coordinator for the program, advisor to the English Riding Club, and is also the Key Academic Advisor for the program. In her spare time, Tiare can be found spending time with her family, riding her horses, playing soccer, or enjoying the Colorado mountains.

Visit Colorado State University Equine Sciences

Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Cavalettis and Pole Work at All Gaits for a Variety of Levels

Sunday at 9 a.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Whether you want your students to jump or not, cavaletti and ground pole work is good for horses and riders to do to improve strength, rhythm, and timing. 

Jumping Gymnastics

Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Jumping gymnastics is fun but can also be daunting to teach! Come to this session to learn how to set up different grids and the measurements for them and how to set your students and horses up for success as they go through them.

 

Tracy Schmidt

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Media and Website Trends

Tracy received a BFA from the University of Kansas and has almost 30 years of experience working in: graphic design, visual communication, marketing, sales, publishing, web development, internet marketing, online business/reputation management, email marketing, social networking, and business development. Though Tracy has worked with a wide range of various industries, small and large corporations, local and international businesses (including Fortune 100’s), she is most passionate about her work within the horse industry with trainers, farms, breeders, exhibitors, horse-related businesses, organizations, and non-profits. She specializes in providing businesses with innovative solutions to stand out in today’s market online and through mainstream media. Tracy is also an adjunct professor, conducts workshops, lectures, and is currently a self-employed consultant, providing services in website and graphic design, sales, and marketing through SOL Design, Inc. Please visit http://SOLdesign.us.

Digital Media and Website Trends

Friday at 7 p.m.; Dessert Round Tables; Hilton Salon 4 and 6

Social networks, business directories, and media share sites boast more than 1.5 billion combined online “users.” These prospective customers turn to their electronic devices to use search engines, social media, mobile apps, and texting as ways to discover new companies, buy products, and find service providers. They get personal recommendations directly from their online “friends.” Let’s talk about the latest trends to market your business online, how to stand out from the competition, how to reach untapped customers, tricks on how to more effectively network online, managing your business reputation, and monetizing your website. Learn how to streamline your online marketing through digital media, email, text messaging and even through non-visual experiences, the BIGGEST new trend! 

 

Ann Streett-Joslin

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Ann is currently CHA’s document specialist, working to convert CHA paperwork for internet access. She does editing, layout, file organization, and user support of CHA’s hundreds of documents. Ann has been active with horses and the horse industry for more than 55 years. From the show ring, to 4-H, to guest ranches, to driving, training colts, all types of instruction, and program/facility management, Ann is well-versed in the business. She is a CHA Master Level Riding Instructor and Clinic Instructor for Standard, Riders with Disabilities, Equine Facility Management, and Driving, as well as a Site Visitor and a former member of both the CHA and PATH Boards of Directors. She currently manages Rancho Vista near Dolores, CO, where she and husband Dave enjoy trail riding in the surrounding mountains and canyons. 

Creating and Using PDF Fillable Forms

Sunday at 3 p.m.; CSU Lecture Room

Documentation is a fundamental part of any instruction, boarding, or training program. Are you still hand-writing lesson notes or wondering what that email address really is on a registration form. This session will introduce using Adobe Acrobat to create and customize your forms for completion online. You will learn to improve the professionalism and readability of your forms by using the tools and commands for PDF fillable forms.

 

Cheryl West

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Cheryl is a CHA Master Instructor and Clinician for English, western, therapeutic, and jumping, and a PATH Intl. therapeutic instructor and mentor. She travels nationally teaching The Connected Ride to all disciplines and developing instructors. She owns and operates West Equestrian Ranch in Sand Springs, OK, teaching lessons to over 60 riders a week at her ranch as well as teaching on Saturdays through the region. She often travels to certify instructors, mentor others, and teach clinics. She was the program manager for the American Therapeutic Center, with 70+ riders for five years. She encourages riders and people from all walks of life that upper-level equitation can be achieved no matter what discipline, horse, or income. Cheryl has organized and managed several shows, events, and been a part of many boards, served as president, and helped in various organizations. She is passionate about CHA, all types of dressage, and using bio-mechanics, rhythm, and feel to understand the horse’s language.

Exercises to Control and Improve the Posting Trot

Saturday at 1:30 p.m.; Adams Atkinson Arena

Posting is an important balance exersize that benefits both horse and rider. Learn different ways of posting to help you be more fluid in the movement and to allow the horse to help you work (not the other way around)! Learn why posting is important, history of the post, and how to to teach it from feel. 

 

Wayne Williams

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Wayne has a long background in radio and TV, as a disc jockey, newscaster, and behind the scenes in sales and production. He has ridden in parades from the Indianapolis 500 Parade to the Rose Bowl Parade, exhibited in open and Palomino shows, and most recently, he and wife Pat pay tribute to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans on horseback with period costumes and silver saddles.  He has become the “voice” of more than 20 top horse expos nationwide and in Canada and aids many in presenting entertainment on horseback and various equine acts. His latest accomplishment was as the “Equine Entertainment MC” at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, at the 2018 Rose Parade Equestfest Producer/Director in Pasadena, and other events. Wayne enjoys trail riding and camping with Pat and being the “man behind the microphone.” He is the host of “Speaking of Horses” TV and radio. Visit www.speakingofhorses.com

Speaking of Horses Radio and Online TV Show

Friday at 10 a.m.; Hilton Salon 3

Come and watch and even be on the live show telling others about CHA and the International Conference.

 

JoAnne Young 

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JoAnne has been teaching riding and training horses for over 54 years and is happy that she is still learning. She has studied with such wonderful instructors as Walter Zettl (dressage coach to Canadian event team when they won Bronze at the Los Angeles Olympics), Bertin Potter in Germany, Molly Sivewright (FEI judge and past chair of the Fellows of the British Horse Society), Carel Eijkenaar (FEI judge), Eddo Hoestra (FEI trainer) and Doris Halstead (physical therapist and author of “Releasing the Potential: Physical Therapy Modalities for Horse and Rider”). JoAnne is the author of the M.A. thesis, “Preparing students for riding instructor certification through college curricula.”

Connecting Your Seat to the Horse’s Feet 

Sunday at 1:30 p.m.; Bill Pickett Arena

Learn how to teach riders how to feel for the right moment and the right place to apply their aids to properly influence the desired leg and hoof of the horse. Transitions, lengthening and shortening stride, correct bend, and lateral work all improve as the rider learns to connect his/her seat to the horse’s feet!

horse, horses, foal

Spring Planning: Getting your Horses and Facility Ready for the Upcoming Season

By Bradie Chapman

We have survived the winter snow and ice and are looking forward to the spring blossoms and the green grass. The spring cleaning and planning for the upcoming season is under way. There are many things to consider as we prepare for the opening day, the horses, the tack and equipment, scheduling of riders, and the facilities.

Let’s start with the horses because without them we do not have a riding program to offer the community. As we transition to spring, we need to consider our program’s health care protocol. For a lot of farms, this will include getting vaccines, Coggins, and maybe teeth floatings scheduled. I always find it helpful to have the veterinarian look at the horses and make any recommendations that they have for nutritional needs and soundness. I have a close relationship with our vet and we talk about work load and what we need to do to help our horses handle what is asked of them.

Horses also need to have their hoof care checked in the spring. Some programs may pull shoes while the horses are in their off season, so we need to schedule the farrier to come and trim or put shoes on the horses as they get ready to go back to work.

And of course, we can’t forget that shedding season will be here soon. Horse hair will be on everything, and we need to make sure we brush the horses regularly to help remove their shedding hair. Grooming is an excellent time to check your horse for any physical changes that happened over winter. Horses may not have worked as hard, and you will most-likely notice a decrease in muscle tone or maybe you had a hard winter and with the winter hair coming off, it is more noticeable that a change needs to be made in their diet.

Horses will need to return to work so that they are ready for their upcoming lesson schedule or summer horse camps. Remember to start off slowly if the horses have been off for the winter. I always compare starting horses back under saddle to us training for a race—we would never go straight to a sprint or a 5K run. We would pace ourselves to build up our endurance and stamina, just like we should for the horse. As the horses return to work, they may require a cooler after the workout to help get them dry because of their winter hair.

Before the riding season starts, this is a great time to do a thorough check of your tack and equipment. If you have a cold and rainy day, you can sit in the tack room and take the tack apart and clean and condition it as you put it back together. Maybe even have a tack-cleaning party and invite others from the barn to come and join you. This will give you an opportunity to check the stitches, the leather, and all of the parts to make sure it is in good working order and safe for your riders while also being comfortable for the horses. If you supply helmets, be sure to check that they are still in good working condition. This would also include straightening out straps and checking liners in the helmets, washing those before the start of the season, if they are removable.

I always think this is a great time to also check the equipment that you use in your lessons. Do your cones need cleaning? Do ground poles or standards need painting or repair? If you have bridges that you use, don’t forget to check the structure of the materials for wear or rot. While checking your equipment for the arena, also look at the storage area. Does it need any repairs?

Another spring task to plan on is a facility walk-through. An alternative idea that we do at our facility is to schedule one monthly and just have a form that we use to make notes of repairs and concerns. This allows you to concentrate on the grounds and buildings as you walk around your property. You may notice some wind or winter weather damage as you make your way around the farm. It is important to make repairs to keep you, your clients, and your horses safe. Walk around the pastures and check your fencing for wear or possible downed trees. In the buildings, look for wear-and-tear that may be okay, but make a note for future repairs. Budget time and resources to get things on the list fixed.

During the walk-through, you may also want to do an inventory of supplies that you will need in the upcoming months. Look at your fly sprays and hair detanglers, shampoos and conditioners, leather cleaning supplies, and any other stable supply that you typically use. You will also want to check halters, leads, fly mask, brushes, etc., and ensure that you have a few extras in case something goes missing or breaks.

As we transition from winter to spring another task to consider is putting away your winter supplies. Depending on your location, you may have heated buckets, trough heaters, and blankets that will no longer need to be out. At this time on our farm, we also identify items that will need to be replaced for the year. Getting a storage container for all of the heaters and repair supplies is an easy way to keep it all together.

At our program, we also blanket our horses through the winter because of our school schedule. We find the blankets help to keep the horses cleaner, which helps the students get more saddle time than grooming time in their classes. But at the end of the season, we wash all of the blankets and sheets before putting them into storage. We also get a pile ready for repairs, which we like to do this time of year so that we are ready for the next winter season.

One other thing that is being worked out currently is our upcoming lesson schedule. Our program is unique in that we have our college program running September through June and then our therapeutic and community lesson program is February or March through November. Many of our horses cross into at least two areas, which helps with exercise and keeping variety in their workload, but it can make scheduling a little more difficult. Scheduling is something that will be determined by each individual program, but for all, it is important to think through as you prepare for the upcoming season. You will have to consider arena space, lighting until the days get longer, and workloads for the horses. Also advertising should be under way to help fill any vacancies as well as sending out rider applications and waivers to be updated from returning riders.

Preparing your facility before the opening of the season shows that you are dedicated to keeping those involved safe and have an awareness of the standards for an equine program. While it is true that many of the things mentioned should be done throughout the operating year, it shows the pride that you have in taking care of your property. and hopefully this is a trait that will pass to your workers, volunteers, and clients.

Bradie Chapman is a CHA Master Instructor and Clinic Staff, and a faculty lecturer for the Ohio University Southern Equine Studies Program, www.ousequinedegree.com. Ohio University Southern’s equine facility is an approved CHA college program which hosts instructor certifications yearly for students. The program has also started offering equine facility management certification at the facility.

Photo by Pegasus Farm in OH

From Lessons to Clinics

From Lessons to Clinics

By Julie Goodnight

I was just a year out of college when I decided to follow the path of least resistance (for me) and make a career in the horse industry. My college degree had nothing to do with horses, but I had been managing a breeding/training farm for a year, so it wasn’t a huge leap for me. Although the sport of riding was a big part of my passion for horses, studying horse behavior and science-based training methods was always a huge motivator for me. It was clear that working for someone else—their horses, their barn, their style of training—was not my path. I needed the freedom to train each horse the way I thought best, to expand my capabilities and explore new techniques.

In 1986, I first hung out a shingle for my own horse business, which included boarding, training, lessons, trail rides, pack trips and drop camps. Basically, anything involving horses that someone would pay me for. I would’ve loved to do nothing but train horses all-day-every-day, but there was way more to running a successful horse operation, and teaching/guiding/coaching would be a big part of the operation. I soon realized that no matter how well I could ride a horse, the ability to teach it to someone else, was the key to success. I’ve worked hard at being a better teacher my entire career, and with a little help from CHA, it has opened many doors for me, indeed.

Like a lot young horse trainers, I did not want to be a riding instructor; just a trainer. I had the fleeting fantasy of training and riding beautiful horses all day with absentee owners who paid exorbitant monthly training bills, indefinitely, asking very few questions and never showing up in person. And to be fair, I did have a few clients that were almost that perfect. But most were not and reality set in fast. Early-on in my career I realized that every horse has at least one person attached and training the horse does no good if the people are not also trained. Three decades later, my passion is still training horses, but what I do mostly is train people who own horses. Our motto is, “Helping horses, one human at a time.”

Credentials Required, Past this Point

By 1995, my horse business had grown to the point that I needed better professional credentials. I researched the options for riding instructor certification and quickly settled on CHA, the Certified Horsemanship Association, founded in 1967 to promote safety in group horsemanship programs by educating and certifying riding instructors. I loved the focus on safety and the acceptance of a broad range of disciplines and teaching styles. The fact that you could test out at the highest level in one certification clinic was appealing, since I already had a decade of teaching riding under my belt.

I came away from my first CHA Instructor Certification Clinic, enamored of the organization and the people who comprised it, and with a lifetime dedication to its mission—to promote safety and education in horsemanship. I’ve stayed actively involved with CHA for more than 20 years. Today, the nonprofit organization offers numerous certification programs for horse professionals– for instructors (standard, riders with disabilities, harness driving), trail guides, vaulting coaches, facility managers and clinicians all receive certification from the organization that has continued to remain relevant for fifty years.

I also came away from that first CHA clinic with the highest level of certification, Master Instructor, and a recommendation to become a certified Master Clinician, and certify other instructors. For years after, I taught clinics for CHA, certifying other professionals, while running a boarding-lesson-training program at home. After teaching and evaluating countless riding lessons, I gradually started doing more clinics and fewer lessons; first at home, then on the road.

I stopped teaching lessons to individuals more than a decade ago and for the past fifteen years, I’ve been teaching horsemanship clinics from coast to coast and abroad. In the parlance of the trade, I am a “horsemanship clinician,” a term that can mean a lot to some, is confusing to others and may mean absolutely nothing to the uninitiated.

Who Does What?

There’s often a fuzzy line between the terms instructor, trainer and clinician, when it comes to horsemanship, and often, professionals will claim all three titles. There are no laws or regulations that define these titles as they relate to horsemanship; even Wikipedia has no answer for “what is a horsemanship clinician.” But having lived and worked in this field for more than thirty years, I have a pretty good idea of the differences between instructors, trainers and clinicians, in the jobs that they do and don’t do. Yes, there is a lot of cross-over between the jobs, but they are distinct roles.

Consulting the dictionary, some definitions are quite clear.

  • Horsemanship: the art or practice of riding, training and handling horses.
  • Instructor: a person who teaches something. In this case, horsemanship.
  • Trainer: a person who trains people or animals. Or both, in the case of horsemanship.
  • Clinician: a health care or medical professional that works directly with a sick patient in observation and treatment, to help them get better. Oops, here’s where things get tricky.

Yes, I could easily argue that a person must be sick to want to ride a thousand-pound flight animal that could spook at his own shadow, but that’s not the point. ‘Clinician’ is a term we borrowed from the medical profession and morphed it to fit the needs of the horse industry. Therefore, a “horsemanship clinician” is a horsemanship expert that works directly with a horse/human pair (the patient or client), in observation and treatment, to help them get better, at whatever it is that they do.

The difference between an instructor and a trainer can be murky too. Many riding instructors are not horse trainers and don’t want to be; they prefer to teach humans to ride on well-trained and well-behaved horses (a very civilized attitude, I might add). If the instructor does not specifically train horses, but does teach lessons on school horses and/or privately-owned horses, that person is a riding instructor. Typically, riding instructors teach private lessons (one on one instruction) or semi-private lessons (instructor and two students), or group lessons (3 or more students). A large group lesson would generally be 6-8 riders.

Conversely, many horse trainers are not riding instructors and don’t want to be; they focus on training/riding/competing and only teach a lesson if they must; and then only for a training client. However, many horse professionals consider themselves instructors/trainers, since they are working to train both horse and rider and/or doing some combination of all-of-the-above. Even when the trainer does not teach lessons to the general public, training recreational horses almost always involves teaching a person too.

While a trainer or riding instructor generally teaches a student on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and may even observe them daily, the horsemanship clinician is usually seeing the horse and person for the first, and possibly only time. Observation is an important part of the equation for training horses and riders. Seeing a horse and/or rider on a daily basis, provides a far different point of view, than seeing the pair for the first time and having no history or preconceived notions. There are certainly pros and cons on both sides, but often a fresh pair of eyes—objective observation, not clouded by history or baggage, can see things that are invisible to those who see it all the time.

How is a Clinic Different from a Lesson?

Clinics are typically taught by someone from another area, who is an expert in a particular area of horsemanship. A clinic is usually taught by someone with a higher level of expertise and/or contains content one would not normally get in a regular riding lesson. Horsemanship clinics tend to be costlier in time and money than lessons and may involve travel for the horse and rider.

The format for horsemanship clinics can vary a lot, depending on the riding activities and the clinician. They may be discipline specific (dressage, jumping, cutting, barrel racing, trick training) or more general in nature. Most of my clinics are general horsemanship, which means we address everything from groundwork, to leadership skills, to confidence, to riding skills, to improving the performance of the horse in any discipline.

Some horsemanship clinics will be taught like a series of private lessons that are given in front of an audience, over a PA system. Dressage clinics are usually that way—the clinician works with the riders one at a time, one after the other, and others pay to watch, observe and learn. Other clinic formats will have all the riders in the arena at the same time, with the groups as large as 10-20 riders. Performing in a large group, in front of an audience, brings unique challenges for both the horse and rider, but also has the potential to greatly expand the training and confidence of both.

Another unique quality of a horsemanship clinic versus a riding lesson, is that there are usually auditors—spectators who have paid to observe the clinician as she/he works with the horses and riders. This can be nerve-wracking for the riders (and for the horses, when the spectators laugh, applaud or open an umbrella), but is an excellent and cheap source of information for the spectator. Auditing horsemanship clinics is an excellent source of continuing education for riding instructors and horse trainers, because it allows you to observe all the different horses and see how the clinician adjusts the techniques to the specific needs of each student.

Teaching horsemanship is a broad endeavor that goes on at every level from a grandfather teaching his grandkids, to an experienced friend helping someone new to the sport, to 4H leaders, to riding instructors teaching beginners or coaching riders to the Olympics, to trainers who work their magic with horses, to clinicians, working with people and their horses on a one-time basis. We need all kinds of teachers and all kinds of students, to keep the industry strong. For more information on the Certified Horsemanship Association, visit www.CHA.horse and www.CHA.horse

 

Teresa Kackert Great Horses of America

From Lessons to Clinics

By Julie Goodnight

I was just a year out of college when I decided to follow the path of least resistance (for me) and make a career in the horse industry. My college degree had nothing to do with horses, but I had been managing a breeding/training farm for a year, so it wasn’t a huge leap for me. Although the sport of riding was a big part of my passion for horses, studying horse behavior and science-based training methods was always a huge motivator for me. It was clear that working for someone else—their horses, their barn, their style of training—was not my path. I needed the freedom to train each horse the way I thought best, to expand my capabilities and explore new techniques.

In 1986, I first hung out a shingle for my own horse business, which included boarding, training, lessons, trail rides, pack trips and drop camps. Basically, anything involving horses that someone would pay me for. I would’ve loved to do nothing but train horses all-day-every-day, but there was way more to running a successful horse operation, and teaching/guiding/coaching would be a big part of the operation. I soon realized that no matter how well I could ride a horse, the ability to teach it to someone else, was the key to success. I’ve worked hard at being a better teacher my entire career, and with a little help from CHA, it has opened many doors for me, indeed.

Like a lot young horse trainers, I did not want to be a riding instructor; just a trainer. I had the fleeting fantasy of training and riding beautiful horses all day with absentee owners who paid exorbitant monthly training bills, indefinitely, asking very few questions and never showing up in person. And to be fair, I did have a few clients that were almost that perfect. But most were not and reality set in fast. Early-on in my career I realized that every horse has at least one person attached and training the horse does no good if the people are not also trained. Three decades later, my passion is still training horses, but what I do mostly is train people who own horses. Our motto is, “Helping horses, one human at a time.”

Credentials Required, Past this Point

By 1995, my horse business had grown to the point that I needed better professional credentials. I researched the options for riding instructor certification and quickly settled on CHA, the Certified Horsemanship Association, founded in 1967 to promote safety in group horsemanship programs by educating and certifying riding instructors. I loved the focus on safety and the acceptance of a broad range of disciplines and teaching styles. The fact that you could test out at the highest level in one certification clinic was appealing, since I already had a decade of teaching riding under my belt.

I came away from my first CHA Instructor Certification Clinic, enamored of the organization and the people who comprised it, and with a lifetime dedication to its mission—to promote safety and education in horsemanship. I’ve stayed actively involved with CHA for more than 20 years. Today, the nonprofit organization offers numerous certification programs for horse professionals– for instructors (standard, riders with disabilities, harness driving), trail guides, vaulting coaches, facility managers and clinicians all receive certification from the organization that has continued to remain relevant for fifty years.

I also came away from that first CHA clinic with the highest level of certification, Master Instructor, and a recommendation to become a certified Master Clinician, and certify other instructors. For years after, I taught clinics for CHA, certifying other professionals, while running a boarding-lesson-training program at home. After teaching and evaluating countless riding lessons, I gradually started doing more clinics and fewer lessons; first at home, then on the road.

I stopped teaching lessons to individuals more than a decade ago and for the past fifteen years, I’ve been teaching horsemanship clinics from coast to coast and abroad. In the parlance of the trade, I am a “horsemanship clinician,” a term that can mean a lot to some, is confusing to others and may mean absolutely nothing to the uninitiated.

Who Does What?

There’s often a fuzzy line between the terms instructor, trainer and clinician, when it comes to horsemanship, and often, professionals will claim all three titles. There are no laws or regulations that define these titles as they relate to horsemanship; even Wikipedia has no answer for “what is a horsemanship clinician.” But having lived and worked in this field for more than thirty years, I have a pretty good idea of the differences between instructors, trainers and clinicians, in the jobs that they do and don’t do. Yes, there is a lot of cross-over between the jobs, but they are distinct roles.

Consulting the dictionary, some definitions are quite clear.

  • Horsemanship: the art or practice of riding, training and handling horses.
  • Instructor: a person who teaches something. In this case, horsemanship.
  • Trainer: a person who trains people or animals. Or both, in the case of horsemanship.
  • Clinician: a health care or medical professional that works directly with a sick patient in observation and treatment, to help them get better. Oops, here’s where things get tricky.

Yes, I could easily argue that a person must be sick to want to ride a thousand-pound flight animal that could spook at his own shadow, but that’s not the point. ‘Clinician’ is a term we borrowed from the medical profession and morphed it to fit the needs of the horse industry. Therefore, a “horsemanship clinician” is a horsemanship expert that works directly with a horse/human pair (the patient or client), in observation and treatment, to help them get better, at whatever it is that they do.

The difference between an instructor and a trainer can be murky too. Many riding instructors are not horse trainers and don’t want to be; they prefer to teach humans to ride on well-trained and well-behaved horses (a very civilized attitude, I might add). If the instructor does not specifically train horses, but does teach lessons on school horses and/or privately-owned horses, that person is a riding instructor. Typically, riding instructors teach private lessons (one on one instruction) or semi-private lessons (instructor and two students), or group lessons (3 or more students). A large group lesson would generally be 6-8 riders.

Conversely, many horse trainers are not riding instructors and don’t want to be; they focus on training/riding/competing and only teach a lesson if they must; and then only for a training client. However, many horse professionals consider themselves instructors/trainers, since they are working to train both horse and rider and/or doing some combination of all-of-the-above. Even when the trainer does not teach lessons to the general public, training recreational horses almost always involves teaching a person too.

While a trainer or riding instructor generally teaches a student on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and may even observe them daily, the horsemanship clinician is usually seeing the horse and person for the first, and possibly only time. Observation is an important part of the equation for training horses and riders. Seeing a horse and/or rider on a daily basis, provides a far different point of view, than seeing the pair for the first time and having no history or preconceived notions. There are certainly pros and cons on both sides, but often a fresh pair of eyes—objective observation, not clouded by history or baggage, can see things that are invisible to those who see it all the time.

How is a Clinic Different from a Lesson?

Clinics are typically taught by someone from another area, who is an expert in a particular area of horsemanship. A clinic is usually taught by someone with a higher level of expertise and/or contains content one would not normally get in a regular riding lesson. Horsemanship clinics tend to be costlier in time and money than lessons and may involve travel for the horse and rider.

The format for horsemanship clinics can vary a lot, depending on the riding activities and the clinician. They may be discipline specific (dressage, jumping, cutting, barrel racing, trick training) or more general in nature. Most of my clinics are general horsemanship, which means we address everything from groundwork, to leadership skills, to confidence, to riding skills, to improving the performance of the horse in any discipline.

Some horsemanship clinics will be taught like a series of private lessons that are given in front of an audience, over a PA system. Dressage clinics are usually that way—the clinician works with the riders one at a time, one after the other, and others pay to watch, observe and learn. Other clinic formats will have all the riders in the arena at the same time, with the groups as large as 10-20 riders. Performing in a large group, in front of an audience, brings unique challenges for both the horse and rider, but also has the potential to greatly expand the training and confidence of both.

Another unique quality of a horsemanship clinic versus a riding lesson, is that there are usually auditors—spectators who have paid to observe the clinician as she/he works with the horses and riders. This can be nerve-wracking for the riders (and for the horses, when the spectators laugh, applaud or open an umbrella), but is an excellent and cheap source of information for the spectator. Auditing horsemanship clinics is an excellent source of continuing education for riding instructors and horse trainers, because it allows you to observe all the different horses and see how the clinician adjusts the techniques to the specific needs of each student.

Teaching horsemanship is a broad endeavor that goes on at every level from a grandfather teaching his grandkids, to an experienced friend helping someone new to the sport, to 4H leaders, to riding instructors teaching beginners or coaching riders to the Olympics, to trainers who work their magic with horses, to clinicians, working with people and their horses on a one-time basis. We need all kinds of teachers and all kinds of students, to keep the industry strong. For more information on the Certified Horsemanship Association, visit www.CHA.horse and www.CHA.horse

2017 CHA International Conference Speakers

Peggy Adams

CHA Past President Peggy Adams has been on the CHA board for nine years and is a CHA Clinician and was the 2016 CHA Distinguished Service Award winner. She previously taught and coached riding at her own farm, PLA HorsePlay, and worked for the Girl Scouts for 30 years in a variety of managerial positions. She currently lives with her husband in Mrtyle Beach, South Carolina. 

What to Expect at a CHA Clinic 

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Dave Andrick

Dave is the Group Vice President of the AIM Equine Network and has been an active part of the horse industry for more than 10 years. In 2011, when the equine industry experienced an escalating unwanted horse population due to the economic downturn, Dave founded AIM’s A Home for Every Horse, a program that in the last four years has placed thousands of unwanted horses in permanent homes and brought much needed resources to over 500 rescues. He lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Penny, and his sons, Ben and Grant.

Active Interest Media – Video on Fire!

The AIM Equine Network is the largest network of its kind in the equine industry in the United States. AIM reaches more than 1.5 million horse owners across a network of print, digital, and video that includes the brands of American Cowboy, Dressage Today, Equus, EquiManagement, Horse & Rider, Practical Horsemen, Spin to Win Rodeo, and Stable Management magazines, along with A Home for Every Horse, Equisearch, Equine.com, Hope in the Saddle, USRider, and the World Series of Team Roping. This keynote will highlight some of the AIM programs with a fun video presentation. 

Gerrie Barnes

With over 20 years of experience, Gerrie currently lives in Conroe, Texas.  She was designated the 2012 Horseperson of the Year by the Colorado Horse Council and was awarded the 2016 Riding Instructor of the Year by the Certified Horsemanship Association for her teaching, coaching, and mentoring skills. She is an AQHA Professional Horseman and a CHA Certified Instructor. She has a BS in Education and an MA in Counseling.  She has recently written a book and workbook, Riding the Horse’s Mind: The Psychology & Leadership of the Horse. Her current horse business is NewConceptsConsultant.com

Riding the Horse’s Mind: The Psychology & Leadership of the Horse

Riding the Horse’s Mind provides the missing piece to solving the many frustrations that horse owners and riders have with horse problems, trust, and respect. Although Natural Horsemanship provides us an understanding of the horse as a species, many of us don’t understand the level of commitment that horses have to their herd instinct.  Some horses will die over their placement in the herd hierarchy. Explore with me the mind and psychology of the horse. Once seen differently, our human intent, commitment, and approach will be different. Our inter-species communication will greatly improve which will improve the level of trust and respect. Horse problems and our frustrations will improve. Join me on this journey!

Diana Beardsley

Diana has worked at Pegasus Farm Equestrian Center located in Hartivlle, Ohio since 1999. She is a graduate of Lake Erie College with a BS in Equestrian studies. She is a CHA Level 3 English/2 Western/3 IRD Instructor as well as a PATH Registered level riding instructor and Level 1 Driving instructor. Diana has been involved with all of the various equestrian programs that Pegasus offers, but is especially fond of the Veterans Salute Program. She has been involved from the onset of the program in 2007 and has taught unmounted lessons, riding lessons and currently heads the driving lessons for Veterans. 

Working with Veterans in an Equine Program

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Bob Coleman Ph.D., PAS, Dip.ACAN

Bob grew up in western Canada and has had a lifelong interest in horses. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelors degree in Agriculture with a major in Animal Sciences and a Master’s of Science degree. Bob worked in the Canadian Feed Industry as a nutritionist for two major feed companies and then became the Extension Horse Specialist for Alberta Agriculture. During his time in Alberta, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Alberta with a focus in Equine Nutrition. In 1998, Bob moved to the University of Kentucky as the Equine Extension Specialist. In addition to his Extension duties, Bob teaches in the Equine Science and Management program, advises undergraduate students and served as the program’s Director of Undergraduate Studies until May 2017. Bob has contributed in the areas of applied research looking at voluntary forage intake of horses and the use of rotational grazing practices to meet maintenance needs of adult horses. In addition he has worked with the extension faculty at the University of Minnesota to develop the Healthy Horse app an app used by horse owners to estimate current body weight as well as ideal body weight. Bob serves as Chairman of the AQHF research committee and is the current past president of the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association. Professionally, Bob is a member of the Equine Science Society and serves as the executive director, is a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and is a Diplomat in the American College of Animal Science and the American Society of Animal Scientists. With CHA, Bob is certified as a Lead Site Visitor and Trainer and serves on the CHA board serving as the Vice President for New Initiatives. 

Feeding the Older Horse

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Sarah Evers Conrad

Sarah has been an equestrian journalist for more than 17 years. She is the Editor of CHA’s official publication, The Instructor magazine, in addition to writing CHA’s press releases, blog, and various articles promoting the organization. She has also been published in The Horse magazine, the Arabian Horse Association’s Arabian Horse Life (and the former Modern Arabian Horse), the American Paint Horse Association’s Paint Horse Journal, the United States Dressage Federation’s USDF Connection, Off-Track Thoroughbred, Stable Management, and Blood-Horse magazine. She was the Managing Editor of the United States Equestrian Federation’s Equestrian magazine, U.S. Equestrian’s Director of E-Communications, staff writer for The Horse, and Content Manager and travel writer for a Caribbean travel agency. She currently owns All In Stride Marketing, a digital marketing agency that helps equine business owners promote their products and services.

Working with the Media to Promote Your Business

Showcasing your expertise as a knowledgeable horse person is critical to marketing your services and products, and media exposure is a great way to do this. This session will help attendees learn how to work with the media–including equine media, local media, and mainstream national media. This information is helpful for anyone who wants to promote a business and/or riders and horses at their barn. Attendees will learn how to reach out to media, what types of stories to suggest to the media and how to pitch those stories, and how to form a relationship with the media. Learn how to prep for an interview, how to answer interview questions, mistakes to avoid, how to help the journalist to write the best story possible, and how to promote the article so more readers see it. In addition, this session will also discuss the benefits of using press releases, articles, and other forms of content in your marketing strategy.

Stephanie Cook

Stephanie grew up in New Jersey, riding and teaching students of all ages from the age of 10 until she went to college. After successfully riding for four years on the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team at West Point, Stephanie graduated in 1987 from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree. She spent time in the military, law enforcement, and corporate careers, raising 5 children and earning an MBA along the way. In 2009, she realized that her passion for horses never left and returned to what she was meant to do; ride and train horses, and teach others how to ride! She opened Hill Country Riding Academy outside of San Antonio, TX where she has had tremendous success with children, adults, young horses, ‘problem’ horses, and everything in-between! In 2015, her horse, Texas Checkmate, won the Take 2 Thoroughbred National Jumper Championship and was also in the top 20 in the Take 2 National Hunter standings. She has trained horses for local and “A” USEF rated shows, has had riders qualify and compete at USEF Pony Finals and coaches the Trinity University IHSA and Hill Country Riding Academy IEA teams. She is an USHJA Certified Trainer and a CHA English and Western certified instructor.

Find Out More About IHSA and IEA

Frank L. Costantini Jr. 

Equine Insurance

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Donovan Dobbs

Donovan is a CHA instructor. He has students from kids and adults with no experience to intermediate level western competitors. One of his specialties is helping adult riders who have lost their confidence riding. He starts colts, works with problem horses and finishes horse for a variety of western competition. He also conducts a variety of clinics around S.W. Missouri. One of his greatest accomplishments has been helping start an annual western day event for foster kids with the charity Cherished Kids. Donovan provides guided horse rides for kids of all ages most who have never been on a horse in their life.

Be A H.E.R.O. to Your Students, Horses and Yourself!

Success is not about winning or accomplishing a specific task but about being a H.E.R.O. This presentation will give your tools and tips on humility, endurance, relationship and obedience (H.E.R.O.) as it applies to you, your students and your horses. We will explore each topic with the hopes that it will make you think and hopefully improves in all aspects of your horsemanship.

Dusty Franklin, CJF, DipWCF, ASF

Dusty has been a full-time farrier since 1992. He grew up riding and competing in youth and amateur divisions and soon began horseshoeing with his father, Jerry, also a CJF. Dusty has operated the Five Star Horseshoeing School in Minco, OK since 1997. He believes in further education through competition, certification, and clinics. A very successful competitor since earning his CJF in 1996, Dusty has twice been on both the American Farriers Team and the World Championship Blacksmith Team. In 2011 he won Stonewell Striker of the Year. Dusty became an AFA Examiner in 2003 and is the Former Chairman of the AFA’s Certification Committee and as an Examiner with the Farrier International Testing System. He and his wife Staci have co-authored the certification study guide “Let’s Get Practical.” An inspiration to others to love their career and not just settle for a job, Dusty has twice been designated the AFA’s Educator of the Year. He also travels internationally as an educator and clinician for Delta Mustad.

Farrier Certification – What It Is and Why It Matters

Since licensing is not required for a person to practice farriery in theUS, the AFA Certification Program was created in 1982 to providevoluntary testing to a consistent standard of hoof care. Three levels constitutethe core of the program : certified farrier, certified tradesman farrier, and certified journeyman farrier. Additional tests are offered in therapeutic shoeing,forging, and educational endorsement. This talk will discuss the requirements of the core program and the standards that must be met to achieve each level of certification. The goal is to provide the audience with a clear overview of the rigorous and comprehensive nature of these tests and how becoming certified impacts the quality of hoof care that a farrier delivers.

Tara Gamble

Tara is Past President of CHA and of the Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF), as well as Runner-Up Miss Rodeo Canada in 1998. She has served on the Equine Canada Board of Directors as a representative to recreation, and on the Strathcona County Economic Development and Advisory Committee as the agricultural representative. It has been an honor for Tara to receive both the CHA Clinic Instructor of the year (2006), and Volunteer of the year (2013) awards. She is a CHA Clinic Instructor, and a designated Professional Horseman with the American Quarter Horse Association and was appointed to the AQHA Youth Activities Committee in 2012. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Alberta. With over twenty three years of industry teaching experience and a background in both Western and English, Tara offers weekly riding lessons at her facility east of Ardrossan, Alberta. In addition, she judges various horsemanship competitions, presents seminars and instructs clinics. She has been fortunate to work with many equine professionals on the provincial, national and international levels which has greatly enriched her experiences.

Lateral Work to Improve Turns on the Haunches, Spins and Rollbacks

Wanting to take your riding to the next level? Are you struggling with how to get there or how you can fine tune more advanced maneuvers? Then you don’t want to miss this session! Lateral exercises are useful for gaining independent control of the forehand and haunches and to aid in a lighter, more willing and responsive horse. Tara will introduce you to several exercises that will help riders and horses build or maintain a solid foundation in order to improve balance, suppleness, impulsion which aid in collection and improvements with turn on the haunches/spins and roll backs.

Jenn Gay

Jenn is a lifetime member to both Girl Scouts and the Certified Horsemanship Association. Jenn started as a Barn Assistant at a Girl Scout Camp and moved all the way up to the Directorship. Jenn has helped create partnerships between local stables and the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, and currently teaches the Girl Scout national program to new volunteers. Jenn is the founder of Greenblood.horse and is the current Equestrian Director at Heavenly Horse Stables. Jenn is a CHA certified Instructor and Michigan Representative.

Girl Scouts – Clients that Keep Giving; Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, Ambassador – Badges, Patches, Rewards, Take Action Projects and more! – What do these all mean?

Join us to learn the ins and outs of Girl Scouts and how you can help make the world a better place tomorrow by sharing your knowledge today. Discover how to use your resources wisely and help girls to be responsible for they say and do. Find out how to easily bring a group of first-time riders to your small barn and how to have them keep coming back!

Julie Goodnight

Julie Goodnight is a CHA Master Clinician and the International Spokesperson for CHA and is known for her weekly RFD-TV show Horse Master, and her no-nonsense training for riders of all disciplines. Her methods are grounded in natural horsemanship, classical riding, and understanding horse behavior. She teaches at clinics and expos everywhere and offers online education, how-to DVDs, and her own tack and training tools at JulieGoodnight.com.

For Mature Audiences Only: Teaching the Older Rider

Riders in their 50s, 60s and even 70s are commonplace today and this age group presents different challenges to the riding instructor. This presentation will focus on the special needs of the older rider, including confidence, fitness, motivations and appropriate horse choices.

Shellie Hensley

Co-founder of the H Mill Iron Horsemanship, Shellie Hensley lives in Macksburg, Iowa. Her philosophy of teaching “the total horse from the ground up” based on a foundation of safety, instills confidence in her riders and a distinct connection with the horse. Shellie currently serves CHA on the Board of Directors, as Clinic Staff and a Site Visitor. Even with her busy schedule, she enjoys working alongside her husband, Randy, a certified farrier, rehabilitating horses. Their small acreage serves as a happy home to several critters.

Creative Exercises to Develop A Thinking Rider From the Beginning

We have all seen it – most of us are doing it – getting stuck in a rut with our beginner riders; where the “Follow the Leader” method sets in and keeps horses and riders following, but not necessarily thinking! Join Shellie Hensley as she explores creative ways to safely pull riders and their instructors out of the rut and onto the path of thinking and responding during lessons. Bring an open mind and your sense of humor as Shellie walks riders through the Good, the Not-So-Good and the greatness of thinking outside the box.

Melissa (Missy) Howard

Growing up on a small Ohio farm instilled the love of horses for Missy at a young age. She graduated from Hocking College with a degree in Backcountry Horsemanship, Wildlife Management and a certificate from the National Ranger Training Institute. After pursuing many jobs in small boarding barns and a brief stent at a Standardbred training facility she moved to Kentucky and was one of the first women hired at Claiborne Farm. She worked with world champion thoroughbred racehorses in the foaling barn, breaking yearlings, mares & foals and doing sales. Claiborne Farm opened the door for her to travel to New Zealand for a year working at Fayette Park Stud. Next she was led to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) back in KY. TRF was spreading across the US establishing retirement farms for ex-racehorses at minimum security prisons. Missy did many things at TRF including national retirement and transportation coordinator, liaison of race tracks across the US, worked directly with the prison systems to establish equine retirement programs, and developed a horse-based curriculum for inmates. She was then hired as the Volunteer Coordinator for Pegasus Farms in Ohio managing over 150 active volunteers, assisting in many fundraising activities, orchestrating tours and other Farm events. Missy has gone on to become a certified CHA riding instructor teaching Youth at Risk programs both mounted, unmounted and drill teams. She is one of the instructors working with the Pegasus Farm’s Veteran Salute program participants. Married to Roger Howard, an a AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier, and having two horse crazy kids Mallory & Grant keeps her surrounded by horses at home and at work. 

Working with Veterans in an Equine Program

Dessert Round Tables

Come and join our current CHA Board of Directors for a fun and educational evening. 

Becky Huddleston

Becky Huddleston is the owner and trainer/coach at Tightfit Stables in Baxter, Tennessee. She started riding as a child on her family farm and in high school began showing TN walking horses and barrel racing Quarter Horses and Appaloosas. She graduated from Tennessee Tech University with a B.S. Degree in Agriculture in 2000 where she also competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. While in college, Becky started riding colts and breeding Quarter Horses. After graduation, she began to teach lessons and coaching the Equestrian Team at Tennessee Tech. In 2003, Becky and her husband built a barn and started teaching and training full time. In addition to IHSA, Becky’s students participate in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, 4H and open schooling shows. Becky currently serves on the board of directors for the IHSA and judges schooling and 4H shows. Her main focus in her lesson program is proper horsemanship and equitation.

Exercises to Improve Flexibility, Strength, Coordination of the Aids

Come to this session to learn different rider exercises that will increase rider strength, flexibility and coordination of aids. A few examples of these are “toe touches”, “double posting”, and “hip flexor stretches”. Some exercises are geared toward improving common rider faults such as keeping riders heels down (wearing spurs on the riders’ toes), keeping hands still (carrying a golf ball in a spoon), sitting the trot (raising a hand up over the head) and many others. I feel that many instructors could benefit from having multiple simple and fun exercises to add to their programs. You can use these exercises as warm ups and cool downs as well as for correcting those common rider faults.

Karen Jackson

Karen is a Saddlefit for Life certified saddle ergonomist. Her passion for horses started at a young age, volunteering at a race horse farm, helping to care for and exercise the horses. Since her start there, she has spent time in the Ontario hunter/jumper circuits, worked with plow horse teams on an organic farm, managed a trail riding facility at a resort, and trained and coached jumpers in Mexico City. She has loved becoming a saddle ergonomist that has made her realize how many situations in her past horse experiences with horses could have been prevented with a simple saddle fit evaluation. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, she has committed her life to teaching others the importance of a properly fitted saddle, and checking the fit regularly as the horse grows and changes. Karen lives near Newmarket, Ontario with her Arabian mare, Tess; her best friend and companion for well over 20 years.

Saddle Fit: Anatomical Considerations of Both Horse and Rider 

When looking for a saddle, there are so many more factors to consider other than discipline and seat size. In the past thirty years, horseback riding has seen a huge shift in rider demographics. Also, horse breeding trends have brought about a different body type in our sport horses. We cannot expect so many changes in the sport, and not make any changes to the equipment we rely on. This talk will focus on these changes and what they mean to saddle fit. We will examine the anatomical differences between female and male riders, and what they need to accommodate these differences when riding. We will also look in depth at equine anatomy and how to best fit a saddle in order to avoid interfering with a horse’s movement. This talk will give listeners a good place to start evaluating their own saddle, and where to go from there.

Dr. Kathi Jogan

Kathi is a long time equine industry professional who has managed, trained, and shown various horse breeds representing multiple disciplines. Currently on the faculty at the University of Arkansas, Kathi offers courses in equine science and engages students in internships in the U.S. and abroad. She has directed many fundraising and experiential events to promote her University’s Animal Science Department. Kathi is a member of the Equine Science Society, the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture and the CHA Board of Directors. 

Low Cost and High Impact Strategies for Increasing Group Engagement

Everyone who is involved in the equine industry has three over-arching goals – safety, best practices in horse care and minimizing expenses. At first glance, it seems like these goals are mutually exclusive, but in fact, CHA is the key that can unlock how to make these goals seamlessly mesh. As a long-time equine industry professional, event coordinator, fundraiser, riding instructor, university instructor and farm manager, Kathi will give you proven strategies incorporating CHA that will ensure that as a horse professional, you are a success using all of the matrices….and that engagement and volunteerism in your horse barns, at your equine fundraisers, and in your riding classes will be at an all-time high!

 

Laura Kelland-May

Laura is very active in the horse industry and is a USEF “R” Judge (Hunter, Jumper and Equitation) as well as Equestrian Canada “S” Judge (Hunter, Jumper, Equitation and Hack) and Senior Steward. She continues to develop horses and riders and is the founder of “Equestrian Skill Builders series of Horse Show Clinics” and is moderator of the monthly Jumping Instructors Webinar and Dressage Instructors Webinar. In addition she is a freelance coach, working with horse professionals incorporating many breeds and disciplines. Contact Laura today for more information on how you an transform your coaching, riding, and training skills Laura@ThistleRidgeStables.com.

Top Tips on What the Judge Expects to See in Your Students’ Hunter Classes

Have you ever wondered what the judge is looking for? Winning rounds are more than counting strides and getting your leads! Laura brings her experience judging at horse shows, from local “in house” training shows to national/international competitions and shares with coaches, trainers and competitors, what the judge is looking for. Attendees will be asked to ride a simple hunter course. Laura will outline the must haves for a winning round, what can detract from your winning round and will also provide easy step by step exercises you can use to improve your riders and their horses. From the approach to your first fence to the exit of the competition ring, Laura educates instructors and coaches on how to transform their clients into winning competitors. 

Melissa King

Melissa grew up competing in Hunter/Jumpers in Houston, Texas, while always harboring the dream of becoming a jockey. From there, she went on to get her B.S. in Equine Sports Therapy from Midway College in 2005. During college, she competed on the Intercollegiate riding team until she found her way to the racetrack. Melissa began galloping racehorses in 2002 and upon completion of her degree program, proceeded to travel the racing circuit around the US.Melissa decided she was better suited nurturing the horse’s progress in their daily training rather than riding them in races. She was fortunate to ride for some of the top trainers and farms in the country, also becoming familiar with managing and rehabilitating injuries while practicing sports therapy. Now she has transitioned from the gypsy lifestyle of the racetrack and has settled in Kentucky, where she has begun helping the horses at New Vocations make the same transition in to their new lives. Melissa purchased her appendix mare, Sierra, in 1996 as a green broke 2 year old and they are still together 21 years later. They progressed from baby green to low junior hunters before heading off to college together. Once Melissa began galloping racehorses, Sierra became a pleasure horse and traveled the country with Melissa, occasionally “earning her keep” as one of the few mares to pony racehorses on the track. One of whom was Lava Man, earner of $5.35 million in his career. Now, she is still living the good life here in Kentucky, trail riding and occasionally foxhunting.

Lunch – The Off the Track Thoroughbred – What Can Be Next?  Melissa King and Susanna Thomas – New Vocations & Makers Mark Secretariat Center – KHP Covered Arena

Melissa Kitchen

Melissa is the Director of Digital Media for the AIM Equine Network. She helps both clients and industry partners with their digital strategies. She has been with the Equine Network for five years, previously being with two B2B magazine publishers, UBM–Canon and Penton Media. Kitchen has also worked at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as their webmaster after she graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Equine Science. She grew up on a dairy farm in southern Wisconsin and moved to Colorado for college. Melissa and her husband live in Northern Colorado with their three sons who are active with horses and showing lambs. 

Active Interest Media – Videos on Fire!

The AIM Equine Network is the largest network of its kind in the equine industry in the United States. AIM reaches more than 1.5 million horse owners across a network of print, digital, and video that includes the brands of American Cowboy, Dressage Today, Equus, EquiManagement, Horse & Rider, Practical Horsemen, Spin to Win Rodeo, and Stable Management magazines, along with A Home for Every Horse, Equisearch, Equine.com, Hope in the Saddle, USRider, and the World Series of Team Roping. This keynote will highlight some of the AIM programs with a fun video presentation. 

Lisa Lombardi

Lisa has been a professional riding instructor since 1989, when she worked as a wrangler at a large summer camp that included a campers’ drill team performance every 2 weeks. Lisa’s personal, professional and competition experience has included reining, jumping, dressage, trail riding and horse camping, mounted color guard, mounted assistance unit, AQHA, and ApHC. Over the years she had the privilege of working directly with and alongside Pam Prudler, one of the original CHA founders, Mike Boyle, then president of NRHA, Diana Thompson, equine acupressure expert and author of Acupressure Point Charts for Horses, and many others. Lisa earned a BA in English with an emphasis in education. She also enjoys writing educational articles on current equine issues for the Sonoma County Horse Journal. Lisa has been CHA certified since 1990, and is currently clinic staff as well as a site evaluator. As a riding instructor, Lisa teaches lessons on her own 9 horses, as well as on clients’ horses. Lisa is the riding instructor for an after school and summer camp program. Lisa puts on monthly play days, and her students participate in local dressage and jumping shows. Since 1990, Lisa has taught hands-on equine science courses at Santa Rosa Junior College. Lisa is also PATH certified and CIEP-ED certified.

Drill Patterns for All Levels of Riders

Are you looking for a creative new approach to help your students practice and advance skills? Riding is often considered an individual activity, but working together as part of a drill team will engage your students in a fun and interactive manner. Drill team skills include lengthening and shortening stride, keeping horses’ attention, awareness of other riders, precision of turns and transitions. An even greater advantage is that riders can work on all of these skills without even realizing it, and have fun doing it! Come join us as we create a mini drill performance during this session.  

Sheryl Mankel

Sheryl has been a registered instructor for PATH International since 2000 and a PATH Intl. Equine Certified Specialist since 2009, specializing in helping veterans. In 2005, she became a CHA Certified Instructor. In 2010, she furthered her education and became a Nationally Certified Equine Acupressure Practitioner. You can find out more at www.connected-healing.com.

Help Your Horse with Acupressure and Essential Oils

We will identify points you might have already been taught but did not realize the association a particular area has with the attitude and healing throughout the rest of the horse. Such points are at the poll, front of the shoulder blade, withers, coronary band, chest, to name a few. Five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Nutrition, Herbal, Acupressure/Moxibustion, Tui Na (massage) and Qi gong (movement) will be discussed. There will be information shared on essential oils and horses as well.

Bailey McCallum

Bailey is a lifelong equestrian, born and raised in Iowa, and grew up on stock-type horses. She switched to dressage when she started undergrad at William Woods University and continued to ride dressage through the FEI levels as well as teach dressage and western lessons. She has a BS in Equine Science with a concentration in dressage, as well as an M.Ed. in Equestrian Education, both from William Woods. Bailey currently lives in Georgetown, KY and works for the American Association of Equine Practitioners which is located in the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. She has a 12-year-old Quarter Horse mare who teaches lessons to all ages and abilities and I keep a few client horses in training to fill up my “spare time”. 

Equine Disease Communication Center

The Equine Disease Communication Center was established as part of a larger National Equine Health Plan with the aim to mitigate the effects of infectious and vector borne diseases in North America. The EDCC provides real-time, accurate alerts on disease outbreaks as well as educational materials for both vets and horse owners on domestic and foreign diseases, vaccination guidelines, biosecurity protocols and provides contact information for state animal health officials. Trainers and instructors play an integral part in preventing the spread of disease in the equine industry and can benefit from an awareness of the tools made available by the EDCC.

Jessica Mohr

Equine enthusiasts understand the hard work and dedication it takes to stay in this industry and Jessica’s story is no different. In the past 26 years CHA has played a vital role in her life from providing her with mentors to an education with a solid foundation. In the meantime she has managed and nurtured large horse programs, continues coaching people of all ages, and is pursuing her dream of riding dressage in an internationally recognized competition. She realizes that it’s important to remain a student, take risks, lean in, and show up to be an equestrian athlete, but at the end of the day it’s people that matter most and it’s through the partnership of the horse that we get beautiful relationships with people.

Leg Yields, Circles, Half Pass, Serpentines and Shoulder In

Do schooling figures and correctness sound mundane & possibly difficult to teach in a group setting? Come discover the benefits of these things, how to incorporate them into your lessons, making it fun for both horse & rider. This class will combine the art of learning about each manuever as well as some safe exercises to help you use them in your lessons at home. 

Ken Najorka

Many wet saddle pads and miles of riding later, Ken focuses on helping the rider communicate better with his/her horse. “I do have many awards, but the greatest accomplishment is when I see someone better understand his horse and that leads to just a happier team,” Ken observed. Ken uses a natural horseman approach because common sense wins over pressuring a horse to perform. With over 30 years of experience, he is a CHA instructor and Regional Director. In addition, Ken is an AQHA and NRHA Professional Horseman. Ken has taught every level of rider, including serving as the coach for the University of Central Florida Western Team.

Western Dressage 

Western Dressage is not as scary as it sounds and is a great sport for all levels of riders. It involves exercises for the everyday rider that will improve the rider and horse team, No matter your age young or younger at heart.

Beth Powers

CHA Annual Membership Meeting

Come and learn what your association is doing and how you can become even more actively involved. A full Poll Everywhere will also be done. 

 

Dale Rudin

Dale is a CHA certified riding instructor, trainer and clinician. She is the founder of Unnatural Horsemanship – a mindful approach to the horse-human relationship. Dale is also a founding member of Force-Free Tennessee, an organization of positive animal training professionals that promotes humane low-stress animal training and handling. Her articles have been published in Young Rider, Horse Illustrated, and on HorseChannel.com. She works as an instructor and trainer and Tennessee. She works with all breeds of horses in every discipline using force-free and fear-free techniques. Dale’s whole-horse approach to training follows the science of equine learning and behavior and horse/rider biomechanics. Her goal is to create emotionally stable, balanced, and happy horses. Dale offers training, rehabilitation, and instruction in equine behavior, management, and riding technique in middle Tennessee and at her farm, Lyric Valley Ranch, in Santa Fe, Tennessee. UnnaturalHorsemanship.com

The Mind Body Connection

As we teach technique, it’s also important that our students understand how their choices in the saddle affect their horse’s emotional state. This is important for the horse’s well-being and vital for a rider’s safety. An aggravated horse can become dangerous. Learning how to visualize or feel a shift from relaxed to reactive is an essential horsemanship tool. However, prevention is the ultimate skill. I will share how a rider can recognize changes in their horse’s state of mind (both desirable and undesirable) and how to return a horse to a calm state should he become aroused. 

Larissa Strappello

Larissa is the Facility Manager and an Instructor at Houghton College Equestrian Program. She teaches college equestrian classes, trains horses and manages the running of the barn, shows and events. Larissa is a CHA certified Master Instructor and Assistant clinic instructor for Standard and Equine Facility Management clinics. She also has her Master’s degree in Equestrian Education and is fully commitment to promoting effective and safe equine instruction. Larissa truly enjoys helping others learn about the amazing equine partners that help her do her job!”

Exercises for Horse and Rider Using Dressage Training Principles  

Connecting the classical dressage training scale of rhythm, relaxation, connection, impulsion, straightness and collection to your students of all levels and lesson horses through exercises that can help both horse and rider.

Cathy Thacker

Cathy is the Equine Program Specialist for Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont and manages all of the programing, horses and facilities at Circle C Equestrian Center. She is a CHA and PATH Intl certified Riding Instructor and graduated from Averett University with a B.S. in Equine Studies and Business. Horseless, but at a wonderful lesson barn, Cathy grew up in the NC 4-H Horse Program and wore out her family, Girl Scout troop and teachers by trying to make every vacation, badge or school assignment horse themed. Today she has three horses of her own and works for this generation’s Barn Rats to help facilitate all of their horse dreams.

Adding Horseback Archery To Your Riding Program

It’s easier and safer than you might think! This session will explore the “new” ancient sport of Horseback Archery and its growing popularity in the US. We will discuss the potential benefits Horseback Archery could add to your existing horse programs including the benefits for the horses and students. We will try to demystify, equipment, horse selection and training and the safety considerations to take into account along with giving participants access to resources to help in establishing their own programs.

Susanna Thomas

Susann has a lifetime of experience in horsemanship, journalism and civic work. Raised in New York and Europe, Susanna has a degree from Princeton University in Comparative Literature. She worked at Random House Publishers and has a career spanning nearly three decades as an equine journalist writing for publications such as Equus, The Horse Journal, Spur, The Thoroughbred Times, and The Blood Horse, to name a few. She has worked in editorial capacities for EAGALA in Practice, The Horse Journal, and Bluegrass Magazine. She has been deeply involved at the state level in such civic issues as farmland preservation and context sensitive traffic design. A lifelong horsewoman, she has taught riding, competed in dressage and hunt seat, and tried many equestrian disciplines from foxhunting to carriage driving and riding sidesaddle. She developed the Horse Centered Reschooling Program® and applies this holistic interdisciplinary system to every horse at the MMSC. She and her husband live on a farm in Mercer County.

Lunch – The Off the Track Thoroughbred – What Can Be Next?  Melissa King and Susanna Thomas – New Vocations & Makers Mark Secretariat Center – KHP Covered Arena

Randi Thompson

Randi is the CEO of the “Horse and Rider Awareness Educational Programs,” which include, “How to Market Your Horse Business,” “Jumping Instructors,” “Dressage Instructors,” and “Movers and Shakers of the Horse World.” She has been coaching professionals in the horse industry for over 25 years in horse and rider training, business, and marketing. Randi has worked with many breeds of horses and styles of riding in her career and has produced national winners in the worlds of dressage, hunter/jumper, western pleasure and flat shod Walking Horses. Randi is a CHA Master Instructor and Clinician and is available to come to your location for clinics and instructor training. For more information on how Randi can make a difference for you, go to http://www.horseandriderawareness.com.

Protecting Your Horse Business with Risk Management

We all love what we are doing as riding instructors. However, what we do is more than just living our dreams. We also need to operate a horse business. Now you can discover what you need to know to protect yourself and your clients as much as possible. Are you ready to step up to the next level of success with your horse business? If so, you do not want to miss this.  

Jen Verharen

Jen is a professional performance and business coach. She is a USDF Certified Instructor, USDF “L” judge’s program graduate with distinction, USDF bronze & silver medalist, USPC graduate A and USPC National Examiner. Jen has competed and trained at the upper levels in both dressage and eventing. She has a BA in Organizational Psychology/ Mental Health and is a certified Health and Wellness Coach, Transformational Life Coach and mediator. She was a corporate leadership and business coach for several years and now brings that experience to her work with equestrians. Her business, Cadence Coaching, specializes in providing performance and business coaching for equestrians. Jen conducts workshops with riders and horse industry professionals all around the US. She was a keynote speaker at the United Sates Dressage Federation Convention in 2015 and 2016. Already in 2017, she has presented seminars at the Area VII USEA Annual Meeting and the American Arabian Horse Association Northwest EquestFest. She is passionate about helping horse industry professionals build thriving businesses and helping riders find joy and success both in and out of the saddle. 

Peak Performance Strategy Workshop

Learn simple strategies for handling stress constructively and riding your best even under pressure! High performance is the result of intentional action, mental toughness, healthy routines and the ability to not only manage but also capitalize on powerful emotions. This workshop is designed to help you leverage fear, shift your thinking and learn powerful tools for getting into “the zone” so that you can perform optimally both in the saddle and out. 

Cheryl West

Cheryl, a Master Certified Horsemanship Instructor and Clinician for English, Western, Therapeutic and Jumping, and a PATH Therapeutic Instructor and Mentor, travels nationally teaching The Connected Ride to all disciplines and developing instructors. She owns and operates West Equestrian Ranch in Sand Springs Oklahoma, teaching lessons to over 60+ riders a week at her ranch as well as teaching at on Saturdays through the region. She often travels certifying instructors, mentoring and teaching clinics. She was the program manager for American Therapeutic Center, with 70+ riders, for 5 years. Encourages riders and people from all walks of life that upper level equitation can be achieved no matter what discipline, horse or income. Cheryl has organized and managed several shows, events, and been a part of many boards, served as president and helped in various organizations. Cheryl is passionate about CHA, all types of dressage, and using bio-mechanics, rhythm and feel to understand the horses language.

Canter Transitions

Working for prompt, obedient canter departs on the correct lead at the correct moment. working to use successive aids to ask for a simple lead, simple change of lead or even flying without throwing the horse off balance. Its important to set the horse up for success, and to build the horse up for a correct lead or lead change.

Jennifer Willey

Jennifer has worked in marketing, licensing and business development for agencies, Target, Best Buy and United Heath Care and enjoys transferring her skillset into the horse industry. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing degree from the University of Minnesota, Curtis L. Carlson School of Management and is a CHA Standard Clinic Instructor and Region 3 Director. Raised in MN, Jennifer got her start in horses at a young age, taking hunt seat lessons and going to horse camp in the summer. In middle school she began working as barn help in exchange for lessons with a reining trainer and later a dressage trainer. She went on to be a working student for an Arabian breeder and trainer and also worked as a trail guide in the summer. Jennifer has experience in both seats, exercising/loping, trail guiding, catch riding, training, colt starting and teaching English and Western equitation. Jennifer has held roles including riding program director, resident trainer/instructor, horse buyer, barn manager and subject matter expert in publishing, video production and editing. Jennifer was CHA’s Instructor of the Year in 2007. She served two terms on the Minnesota Horse Council and as the committee chairperson for the Promotions and Education committees. She formed and developed the MHC’s Sponsorship program, the Horse of the Year program, the social media pages and online membership process and renewal. Jennifer’s WHY Statement: I educate for the purpose of creating good horse people that will do good things for horses. 

The Care and Training of Clients

Are your client crazy? Do you dream of having more clients and every year for your birthday ask for a new client? This is the session for you! We’ll talk about how to find clients and how to determine the right clients for you. Why all clients are different and yet also the same. How to keep them coming back to you and how to keep them happy in their training. 

Mitzi Summers

Mitzi has been devoted to the welfare and safety of horses and their people for most of her life. The recipient of the CHA Instructor of the Year Award, Mitzi is also one of less than thirty Level IV Centered Riding Instructors in the world. Through her achievement of CHA Master Instructor and Clinician, and a Centered Riding Clinician, Mitzi has certified or updated hundreds of instructors so far in her career. She has taught and trained in many countries, including South Africa, New Zealand, and throughout Europe. She has performed with the Royal Lippizan Stallion Tour. Mitzi specializes in working in a very individualized basis with riders and their horses, teaching them to train their own horses in a non-abusive way. She is truly multi-talented, working with a rider in Ireland short-listed for the Olympics, to a rider who has fear issues and is afraid to trot. Horses who have been confused or traumatized are her specialty. Three of her mentors were Charles Grant, Vi Hopkins, and Sally Swift, all recipients of the USDF Hall of Fame Award. Mitzi will be interested in helping you and your horse no matter what level or discipline, she truly “Teaches the Beauty of Horses”.

 

Biomechanics in Riding, Riding the Horse, Not the Discipline 

There are as many schools of thought about riding and riding techniques, as there are styles of saddles. Any technique can offer some results if applied intelligently, but what about the simple biomechanics of movement? When we were kids, sitting bareback on a horse would have been second nature. As we grow up, and develop into a style of riding, many of us end up feel like no matter how hard we try, we are missing something. Biomechanics puts you back in touch with your innate sense of being with a horse, not a discipline of riding. The techniques of Bio-mechanics are not so much about rein and leg, as about re-discovering your body’s own wisdom in relationship to the horse’s movements. Once a rider has been liberated with this work, they usually find that their chosen riding style becomes fluid, easy and much more enjoyable. 

JoAnne Young

JoAnne has been teaching riding and training horses for over 40 years, and is happy that she is still learning. Every student and every horse bring fresh challenges that keep life interesting. She has been privileged and blessed beyond her wildest dreams to study with such wonderful instructors as Walter Zettl (dressage coach to Canadian event team when they won bronze at Los Angeles Olympics), Bertin Potter in Germany, Molly Sivewright (FEI judge and past chair of the Fellows of the British Horse Society), Carel Eijkenaar (FEI judge), Eddo Hoestra (F.E.I. Trainer) and Doris Halstead (Physical Therapist and author of Releasing the Potential: Physical Therapy Modalities for Horse and Rider.) Jo-Anne is the author of the M.A. thesis: “Preparing students for riding instructor certification through college curricula.”

Engaging the Rider’s Core to Engage the Horse’s Core

A series of exercises and position adjustments and the use of a fairly new training tool to help the rider develop that “dancing on air” feeling that comes from true balance and accurately timed and placed aids. 

2016 CHA International Conference Speakers

Peggy Adams

CHA President Peggy Adams has been on the CHA board for nine years and is a CHA Clinician. She previously taught and coached riding at her own farm, PLA HorsePlay, and worked for the Girl Scouts for 30 years in a variety of managerial positions.

CHA Annual Meeting – Holiday Inn – 2 p.m.

 

 

Tim Alderson

Tim isn’t from Texas, but he got there as fast as he could! Originally from Orange County, California, Tim’s equine enthusiasm eventually landed him in East Texas at Pine Cove Christian Camps, where he has served as the Head Wrangler for over 30 years. At Pine Cove, Tim oversees all aspects of 4 separate riding programs encompassing 120 horses and dozens of wranglers. A member of CHA since 1985, Tim is certified in English and Western, has served on the Board of Directors, hosted a CHA National Clinic and Conference, and was a recipient of CHA’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2009.

That’s a Great Idea! – Sharing tips, tricks and problem solving ideas – MTSU Teaching Arena – Saturday, 9 a.m.

Have you had to adapt your program because of your facilities (or lack thereof), your neighbors, your budget, staff, etc.? This session is designed to encourage participation—sharing tips and ideas in order to troubleshoot problems and enhance your program’s effectiveness. Tim has plenty of ideas, but wants to invite anyone to share the “how and whys” of what works for you. We will be using real horses and equipment, so bring your questions and ideas and let’s all learn from one another!

 

Kim Brown

Kim has more than 35 years of experience equine industry publishing and marketing. Currently she is the Associate Publisher/Editor of two brands for Active Interest Media (AIM) that are focused on business. EquiManagement is for equine veterinarians and Stable Management is for farm/stable owners and riding instructors. Kim’s background includes nearly 30 years at Blood-Horse Publications, the first 15 with The Blood-Horse magazine, ending up as a Contributing Editor, and the second 15 developing The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care as the Publisher/Editor. Kim retired from publishing to become Global Marketing Manager at Kentucky Equine Research, and while there lead the team that created award-winning newsletters and videos, launched a new content-driven educational website, and developed an e-commerce site. Kim then ran her own marketing/content development company for a short time before accepting a full-time position with AIM’s Equine Network. Kim and her musician husband, Ben, moved from Kentucky to Wyoming and are enjoying the outdoor life riding horses, camping, cycling, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and Kim’s favorite—rockhounding. Kim can be reached at KBrown@THINInc.com.

Luck is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity – Keynote – Thursday – 3 p.m.

Do you want more students? Do you want to teach at more facilities (or a specific facility) and just can’t seem to break the ice? Do you want to start camps or expand the ones you have but need a partner to make it happen? Then you need to learn how to recognize and take advantage of opportunities you might not even see that are in front of you today!

 

Anne Brzezicki

As the MTSU Director of the Equestrian Program, Brzezicki is the director of equine laboratory classes, and she coaches the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team at the Murfreesboro, TN, university. Brzezicki got her start as a hunt seat rider in Connecticut. As a second-year undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, she and the UConn Equestrian Team won the IHSA National Championship. She then coached the UConn Equestrian Team to the National Hunt Seat Championship in 1972. In addition to competing for IHSA, Brzezicki has competed in USEF and AQHA shows. She began the MTSU Equestrian Team in 1977, and she and Kenny Copenhaver introduced the western  horsemanship divisions to IHSA that year. She would start another IHSA team, this time at Virginia Tech. She served a brief stint as Virginia Tech’s IHSA coach while she attended graduate school there, but she returned to coaching at MTSU in the 1980s. Over the years, Brzezicki has coached many youth, amateur, and IHSA national champions. In addition, her background also includes teaching at 4-H horse camps in Connecticut and Tennessee. In addition, Brzezicki has been an active member of the IHSA Board of Directors, AQHA, and a big supporter of 4-H. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from IHSA in 2003 and IHSA Regional Coach of the Year in 2004. Brzezicki is a CHA Master Instructor and as a CHA Assistant Clinic Instructor, she has recently begun hosting CHA Certification Clinics and thoroughly enjoys working with other teachers in an atmosphere of shared enthusiasm, knowledge, and techniques. In addition, she was honored by CHA when she was awarded the 2015 CHA Instructor of the Year Award.

Real Colors Personality Style Assessment for You, Your Students and Your Horses – Thursday – 5:30 – Holiday Inn

For just $20 come and take the Real Colors Personality test to see if you are Gold, Green, Blue, Orange or a combination of colors. This instrument can be helpful working with students, your family and friends and even your horses. Come and find out how and take the instrument home with you.

Jumping Exercises for Different Levels – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 10:30 a.m.

 

Stephanie Cook

Stephanie grew up in New Jersey, riding and teaching students of all ages from the age of 10 until she went to college. After successfully riding for four years on the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team at West Point, Stephanie graduated in 1987 from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree. She spent time in the military, law enforcement, and corporate careers, raising 5 children and earning an MBA along the way. In 2009, she realized that her passion for horses never left and returned to what she was meant to do; ride and train horses, and teach others how to ride! She opened Hill Country Riding Academy outside of San Antonio, TX where she has had tremendous success with children, adults, young horses, ‘problem’ horses, and everything in-between! In 2015, her horse, Texas Checkmate, won the Take 2 Thoroughbred National Jumper Championship and was also in the top 20 in the Take 2 National Hunter standings. She has trained horses for local and “A” USEF rated shows, has had riders qualify and compete at USEF Pony Finals and coaches the Trinity University IHSA and Hill Country Riding Academy IEA teams. She is an USHJA Certified Trainer and a CHA English and Western certified instructor.

The Different Jumping Releases – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 9 – 10:15

Grab the mane? Crest Release? Following Arm? So many choices! Come to this session to learn what Stephanie has heard from top trainers such as Olympians George Morris, Anne Kursinski, Greg Best, Joe Meyer and Bernie Traurig over the past two years trying to develop the most effective, kind, and consistent way for riders to place their arms and hands over fences. There are times when “grabbing the mane” is certainly the best approach, however, this should not be the position as the rider develops a more secure core and true independence of seat, arms, and legs. “Wide hands”, driving reins, counting and gymnastics in the half seat, or two-point position, will be used to help riders develop a feel for balance, rhythm and following the horse’s mouth over the top of the fences in order to maintain constant contact. With whom, when, and how to practice techniques to develop the “following arm” (also known as the “automatic release”) will be outlined and discussed in depth.

 

David Dellin

David Dellin is the APHA Director of Judges. He is a multiple World and Congress champion trainer. He has judged multiple NSBA futurities and breed World Championship shows. He currently resides in Elmore City, OK, with his wife, Julie, and three children Gage, Lane, and McKenna.

HorseIQ – Miller Club – Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Prepare yourself for a one of a kind experience, giving you the same information that carded judges hear in their educational seminars. From cutting-edge video examples with easy to see graphics, to in-depth explanations of the science behind scoring systems and maneuver scores, this website has you covered. Judge runs in the “Judging Test of Knowledge” and compare your scores to the expert panel in each discipline. You also will have the ability to judge entire classes and compare your scores against the World Show judges that judged the classes live. Whether you are an exhibitor, professional or carded judge this is the place to hone your skills and gain the knowledge to be a success in the show pen.

 

Sandra Elder

Sandra is a CHA instructor and a Special Education teacher by trade, and a teacher of any child who wants to ride by passion. The thousands of children who have ridden through her lesson program are testament to how much difference one person can make in the lives of others.  Her son John was an AQHYA national officer and daughter Sarah member of the AQHA Youth World Cup Team.  They both have been World and Congress winners. Sandra’s service includes more than 38 years of being a 4-H Horse Project leader, 6 years of serving TN youth as TQHA Youth Director, and starting the very first IEA team in TN years, both hunter seat and western.  Her students have won major awards at the TN State 4-H Horse Judging Contest, Public Speaking, Hippology, Horse Bowl and Demonstration Contests, TN State 4-H Horse Show, Southern Regional 4-H Horse Show, AQHA Youth World, and IEA Nationals.  Her creative programs and selfless hours spent in the service of youth have helped her and husband Roger and their family earn the TN State 4-H Family award.  Sandra has been honored with the AQHA Youth Leader of the Year Award, TQHA President’s Award, MTSU and UT Service awards and Maryville District Teacher of the Year as well as numerous other recognitions.

Exercises for Multiple Students at Different Levels – Miller Coliseum – Friday, 3 p.m.

When scheduling students for riding lessons, the ideal would be “like ability and like age” to ride together, but with busy families and multiple activities this can be impossible.  An instructor must be able to plan lesson content that can be adapted for all abilities or skill levels, hunter or western, male or female, adult or child. This session will give you many exercises to take home and start teaching!

 

Tammi Gainer

Having grown up around horses, Tammi began her professional equestrian career in 1989 as a trail guide at a large ranch camp where she was first introduced to CHA and attended a Standard Instructor Certification Clinic in 1990. In the spring of 1995, Tammi joined the instructor staff at Pegasus Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Hartville, OH.  While working at the Farm part-time and  home schooling her three children, Tammi also spent much time working under several national trainers in both reining and dressage and achieved, in addition to her CHA Instructor certification, PATH Intl. instructor certification.  In 2000, she achieved CHA Master Level Instructor and Standard clinic staff status and has since earned Clinic Instructor status in the IRD and Vaulting Coach programs as well. Tammi was promoted to Equestrian Director at Pegasus in 2005 where she now manages all aspects of the equestrian program that serves 250 plus students each week participating in areas such as horsemanship, riding, driving, vaulting, veterans, and youth-at-risk programs.  Most recently Tammi has acquired her AQHA Professional Horseman status; an organization she is especially proud to be a part of.  In September 2007 Tammi was elected to the CHA Board of Directors and asked to chair the Education & Training Committee & in 2011 was asked to take on the position of Board Secretary.  In the fall of 2014, Tammi accepted the responsibility of board treasurer. At the 2011 Certified Horsemanship Association International Conference in Lexington, KY. Tammi was honored with the coveted “CHA Volunteer of the Year Award.”

How to Deal with Different Types of Clientele – Miller Club– Friday, 9 a.m.

 

Tara Gamble

Tara has been the Past President of CHA and of the Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF), as well as Runner-Up Miss Rodeo Canada in 1998. She has served on the Equine Canada Board of Directors as a representative to recreation, and on the Strathcona County Economic Development and Advisory Committee as the agricultural representative. It has been an honor for Tara to receive both the CHA Clinic Instructor of the year (2006), and Volunteer of the year (2013) awards. She is a CHA Clinic Instructor, and a designated Professional Horseman with the American Quarter Horse Association and was appointed to the AQHA Youth Activities Committee in 2012. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Alberta. With over twenty three years of industry teaching experience and a background in both Western and English, Tara offers weekly riding lessons at her facility east of Ardrossan, Alberta. In addition, she judges various horsemanship competitions, presents seminars and instructs clinics. She has been fortunate to work with many equine professionals on the provincial, national and international levels which has greatly enriched her experiences.

Practical Applications for the Turn Back – Miller Coliseum – Friday, 9 a.m.

This session will explore how turn backs can help take your riding to the next level! An often overlooked or misunderstood maneuver, the turn back is a fundamental training exercise that can assist your horse in learning to use their hind end better to improve lightness and balance. Discover what a turn back is including variations of the traditional pattern and how they can help you achieve better stops, spins, correct leads and more!

 

Julie Goodnight

Julie is the popular RFD-TV host of Horse Master airing Monday and Saturday nights. Julie travels the USA sharing her no-nonsense horsemanship training with riders of all disciplines. Whether you ride English, Western, dressage or trail ride, Julie’s “Classic Skills for a Natural Ride” teaching helps you feel more confident in the saddle and helps you understand the “whys” of horsemanship. She loves continually learning and sharing horse behavior insights and she relates that knowledge to how you should interact with your horses. She’s experienced in dressage and jumping, racing, reining, cow horse, colt-starting, and wilderness riding. You’ve probably seen her articles in Horse & Rider, The Trail Rider and many other horse publications. Julie is honored to be the International Spokesperson for the Certified Horsemanship Association and was named Equine Affaire’s Exceptional Equestrian Educator. Julie grew up on the hunter-jumper circuits in Florida, but is now at home in the west. She and her husband Rich Moorhead live in the mountains. Both love versatility ranch horse competitions and riding cow-horses.

It’s Time for the Classics! – Miller Coliseum – Friday at Noon

With the increasing popularity of Western Dressage, classical riding is enjoying a resurgence in both the English and Western worlds, and with riders young and old. We’ll delve into traditional techniques for teaching the classics, how to utilize the arena, teach your students to visualize lines, and how to apply the important tenets of classical riding in your lessons.

CHA Awards Banquet Keynote – Holiday Inn, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Universal Truths for Horse Professionals As long as there are people owning and riding horses, there will be horse professionals gritting their teeth and repeating the same truths we’ve said a thousand times. We’ll take a humorous look at the universal truths about horses and riding students that we’ve all come to know.

 

Randy Hensley

Randy began his career in hoof care as a conventional farrier over thirty years ago. In 2006, with the prompting of a client, Randy began to explore the benefits of barefoot rehabilitation. Certified by the American Hoof Association (AHA) in 2007, Randy has gone on to help hundreds of horses in over five states. He enjoys the journey of helping horses and their owners return to a healthy, sound lifestyle. Randy has also served as vice president of the AHA & has evaluated and mentored other professional farriers & is currently a field instructor for the Equine Sciences Academy. Aside from helping others, Randy also enjoys working cattle by horseback and building ranch horses.

The Hoof – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 1:30 p.m.

Have you ever considered the hoof to be a living being? What’s going on in there & what is the outside of the hoof telling us? Explore the “tip of the iceberg “in hoof anatomy. Get up close and personal with our cadavers and add another tool to your ever developing tool box! *Helpful hints for those of you running a program that depend upon quality donated horses or for those of you who are just intrigued by feet!

 

Dr. Rhonda Hoffman

Rhonda is a professor and interim director of the Horse Science program at Middle Tennessee State University. She has been teaching horse owners, youth, college students, veterinarians and feed manufacturers about horse nutrition for 20 years. She received a B.S. degree from Truman State University in Missouri, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in equine nutrition from Virginia Tech. Dr. Hoffman earned board-certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition in 2007. Rhonda views the board certification as a guarantee to herself and her students to remain current and be the best teacher possible. She has published over 80 scientific research and popular press articles, and she has been an invited speaker for over 100 national and international meetings, including conferences in England, Germany, Spain, and a keynote presentation in Brazil. Rhonda is constantly evaluating her approach to teaching, working hard to keep horse nutrition both interesting and applicable to horse owners and students. She was awarded the MTSU Outstanding Teacher Award, the university’s highest teaching recognition, in 2013. Her horse nutrition knowledge and practical experience helps to keep the MTSU school horses looking good and in their best form and usefulness.

Are School Horses Different than Performance Horses? Nutrition for our Teaching Partners – Club Lounge – Friday, 1:30 p.m.

We know proper nutrition cannot guarantee that a performance horse will win, but improper nutrition CAN guarantee a loss. Are school horses any different? This presentation will address common nutritional issues of various types of school horses and strategies for their optimal nutrition. Topics include weight management, aged horses, feed types and costs, supplements, and fuels for performance.

 

Teresa Kackert

Teresa has been CHA Clinic Instructor since 2003. She is an AQHA Professional Horseman and member of the Wrangler Extreme Team She is also Chris Irwin Natural Horsemanship ‘Double-Gold’ Certified and a Richard Shrake Resistance Free Riding Master Level Trainer/Instructor. Teresa is the creator of the ‘Soft Touch’ Training Program – Classical Equitation & Natural Horsemanship and has over 20 years professional experience as a rider, competitor, trainer, instructor, clinician and personal coach. She is founder of Great Horses of America, Consignment Horse Sales Company and Co-Founder of Pink Heart Pony Kids, Inc. Teresa specializes in: confidence building in both horse and rider, horse behavior modification, motivational personal coaching and skill enhancement for riders & horses of all levels and disciplines. www.GreatHorses.org.

Jumping Exercises for Different Levels – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 10:30 a.m.

 

Danielle Koren

Danielle is a certified marketing specialist, multi-disciplinary project manager, business process analyst and photographer. She has joined Schleese Saddlery Service Ltd. in the position of Marketing Manager in January, 2016. Danielle has over 20 years of experience in planning and executing strategic initiatives through employments at organizations in the private and not-for-profit sector. In addition, she has over five years’ experience in designing and delivering marketing, branding and communications initiatives, and executing photo assignments through her own business. Danielle has a Management Master’s degree, has the Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential and obtained the Certified Marketing Specialist™ designation. She has over 12 years over horseback riding experience.

Women, Are You Riding in a Saddle Made for a Man? – Miller Club – Friday, 10:30 a.m.

Riding shouldn’t hurt. The unspoken reality is many female riders suffer from pelvic discomfort, struggle with position (shoulder-hip- heel alignment), sit crooked, feel unbalanced in the saddle, and endure recurring back, hip and neck pain. These common issues are often the result of riding in a saddle made for a man. This session will include discussion, videos, power point, live demonstrations and exercises including:

  • Differences in female and male anatomy and pelvis relating to riding and the seat (pelvis, leg ratios, musculature, skeletal) showing the differences that dictate different saddle design for women
  • Saddles design for women and for men – what is the difference?
  • Gender correct saddles and back comfort for the horse
  • Improving effective use of aids in your lessons
  • Interchangeable male female ground seats
  • How to evaluate saddle fit to rider – diagnostic saddle fit checklist

 

Christy Landwehr

Christy Landwehr has been active in the horse industry for over 35 years. Hunter/jumper, dressage, native costume, side saddle, western pleasure, hunter pleasure, barrel racing, endurance riding and saddle seat equitation are just some of the disciplines Christy has competed in at the local, regional and national levels in multiple breeds. She has been teaching children and adults how to ride for over 25 years. Christy is not only the Chief Executive Officer, but also a Master Level Riding Instructor/Clinician, Equine Facility Manager/Clinician and Site Visitor Trainer for CHA and has taught students in 4-H and Pony Club. She is a Past President of the American Youth Horse Council and she also founded, competed on and coached the University of Colorado at Boulder Intercollegiate Horse Show Association equestrian team.  Christy is an AQHA Professional Horseman and on the AQHA National Marketing Committee. Christy was recently appointed to the Colorado State University Equine Sciences Advisory Council.  With an undergraduate degree in public relations/speech communication from California State University Fullerton and a graduate degree in mass communication/journalism from University of Colorado at Boulder, Christy has vast experience in marketing and business. She was the Sponsorship and Youth Programs Manager for the Arabian Horse Association, a trainer for Skill Path Seminars, a television news reporter for WB Channel2 in Denver and the Development Director for The Urban Farm that works with at-risk youth. Christy has spoken at numerous equine events throughout her career including: Arabian Horse Association Conventions, Back Country Horsemen National Convention, American Paint Horse Association Convention, Taking the Reins in WI, Equine Affaire in CA, OH and MA, American Hippotherapy Association Conferences, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Conventions, Mane Event in Edmonton, AQHA Conventions, American Camp Association Conventions and many others.

Real Colors Personality Style Assessment for You, Your Students and Your Horses – Thursday – 5:30 – Holiday Inn

For just $20 come and take the Real Colors Personality test to see if you are Gold, Green, Blue, Orange or a combination of colors. This instrument can be helpful working with students, your family and friends and even your horses. Come and find out how and take the instrument home with you.

Dr. Tom Lenz

Dr. Lenz has been active for more than 40 years in the world of equine veterinary health. He has dedicated his life to educating others about animal welfare, often speaking to audiences in the equine, veterinary, and agriculture industries, as well as governmental groups. Dr. Lenz is a Past President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and was honored with the 2005 AAEP Distinguished Service Award and the AAEP Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He is also a past chair of the AAEP’s Welfare Committee. He is currently on welfare committees for the American Horse Council, the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He is a trustee of the American Horse Council (AHC), the past chair of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, and the current chair of the AHC’s Welfare Committee. He has also served the American Quarter Horse Association as an honorary Vice President, co-chair of the Research Committee, and a member of AQHA’s Nominations, Credentials, and Research Committee. His monthly column for the “American Quarter Horse Journal” and “Quarter Horse Racing Journal” has run for more than 20 years. Dr. Lenz graduated from the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975. He earned Diplomate status in the American College of Theriogenologists in 1986 and an MS in Equine Reproduction from Texas A&M University in 1988. The University of Missouri honored Dr. Lenz as the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Alumnus of the Year in 1995 and as a distinguished alumni in 1997. He currently resides in Louisburg, Kansas.

Animal Welfare: Lessons Learned – Holiday Inn – Thursday, 4 p.m.

This presentation will focus on lessons we learned in dealing with equine welfare issues and the Unwanted Horse situation. In the past, welfare issues were discussed and resolved within the horse community, but this was the first national issue where non-horse owners and animal activists, as well as state and local officials, were involved in the debate and resolutions discussion. The result was a change on how we communicate and address equine welfare issues.

 

Julie Little

Julie is the founder of Equine Office, which specializes in dedicated invoicing services for equine businesses. In dealing with barn owners, coaches and trainers, she has been exposed to the many different ways clients implement their procedural policies. Julie began her career as a software developer. She has lived and worked (and of course ridden!) throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. She subsequently started and operated a hunter/jumper riding school and training business of her own for many years. Bringing the best of both careers together, she developed specialized invoicing software which led to the founding of Equine Office. Julie holds bachelors degrees in English and Biology from the University of Toronto, and in Computer and Information Science from the University of Maryland. She experienced many different disciplines of riding growing up, but it was her passion for jumpers which led to years of training and showing on the ‘A’ circuit. Julie gives clinics and judges horse shows when time permits.

Business Solutions for Equine Professionals – Miller Club – Friday, 3 p.m.

Running a coaching business or riding school can be a stressful operation as you try to please everyone. Having solid procedures in place can help smooth those bumps and make everyone’s experience easier. In this workshop we will discuss solutions which businesses like yours have used successfully. Among the topics we will cover are how to handle make-up lessons, and how to best avoid late paying clients. We will consider the pros and cons of different types of lesson packages. We will examine the challenge of getting clients to financially commit to trailering and coaching plans for horse shows. With these and other related topics, you will benefit from other coaches’ experiences. You will be able take home ideas you can apply to make your particular business more efficient (and hopefully give you less headaches)!

 

Jim McDonald

Jim is a lifelong horseman and a lifelong learner. In the year 2000, he started a non-profit organization dedicated to horsemanship education. Part of its mission is to make the joy of a relationship with a horse available to people who would not ordinarily have that opportunity and that was the original motivation for founding the Graham Equestrian center (www.Grahameq.org). They work closely with anyone who wants to advance their horsemanship skills and knowledge. Jim has been the CHA Board Treasurer and an AQHA Professional Horseman.

Teaching Horsemanship Skills for Effective Communication with Horses – Miller Club – Friday, 9 a.m.

This classroom instruction is design to present effective skills for making your intent clear to the horse. The knowledge and skills based on behavioral science. Understanding prey animal psychology and operant conditioning will be the emphasis of this presentation.

 

Debi Metcalfe

Debi is a well-known speaker and clinician hailing from Shelby, NC where she heads Stolen Horse InternationalTM, the only group that has advocated for the victims of rural crime-particularly equine theft-since 1992. She and husband Harold started the organization after the theft of their own mare, Idaho (recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge at age 31). Because of this brutal experience, Debi found the power of networking and social media-and the moniker of ‘NetPosse’ was used to describe that network by the media. It stuck and became the website name. Today, the NetPosse rides the internet on several social media sites-not just Facebook. Committed horse people of all descriptions are encouraged to participate in the ALERT network, volunteer, and become partners and/or sponsors. All it takes is ONE person who sees that horse we are looking for and who makes that call. NetPosseTM-Bringing Horses Home.

Dealing with a Stolen Horse – Miller Club – Saturday, 10:30 a.m., TBA

 

National Reining Horse Association

First offered in 2010 at the Alltech© FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., “NRHA Ride a Reiner” has taken the country by storm by giving novice and experienced riders the opportunity to ride a reining horse. Nowhere else in the world can spectators find an option like this: the chance to receive a hands-on lesson from an NRHA Professional, to enjoy a dizzying spin and to feel the power of sliding stops on a well-trained reining horse!

 Ride a Reiner – Miller Coliseum – Saturday at Noon

 

Andrew Fox – NRHA Professional

Andrew is the head trainer and ranch manager for Darling 888 Ranch, located in Princeton, Kentucky. Originally, from Newmarket, England Andrew began his career riding western pleasure, reined cow horses and horsemanship. He showed his first reining horse when he was 14 years old. He won a European championship title at the age of 15 and has had continued success since then. Andrew has a degree in Equine Science from Cambridge College of Agriculture. Since moving to the United States in early 2008, Andrew has lifetime earnings just under $70,000 and has won various titles including the Alabama, Kentucky, and Missouri Futurities. Andrew has also won the Nebraska Big Red Derby, earned multiple Top Ten NRHA world titles in three different categories and made the open NRHA Derby finals. As a coach, Andrew has enabled his group of non-pros to achieve their goals which include winners of multiple Circuit Championships, Saddle Series, NRHA Top Ten World Titles (non-pro; youth), affiliate finalists and countless first place plaques, buckles and trophies. Andrew also has helped NRHA with Rookie Days and continues to host clinics at the ranch for others to strengthen their reining skills.

 

Hayley Eberle – NRHA Manager of Marketing and Communication

Originally from Georgia, Hayley became involved with horses at a young age. Having competed in several equestrian disciplines from speed events to hunt seat classes, she became successful and desired to be involved in the equestrian industry. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Hayley earned a Bachelor’s degree in Horse Science with a Minor in Business Administration while competing in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association shows and on the horse judging team. To gain experience with event management and horse associations while still in college, she spent much of her free time working equestrian events such as American Stock Horse Association Shows and American Quarter Horse Association events. Hayley also received her AQHA Show Management certification in 2012. Since early 2013, Hayley has been employed with the National Reining Horse Association. She currently manages the Sire and Dam program, marketing of NRHA’s programs, communications to members, outside advertising, and alliances, all while fulfilling additional responsibilities, such as serving as staff liaison to three committees. Hayley also serves on the American Youth Horse Council Board of Directors as well as several committees for the organization. When she isn’t traveling to represent NRHA at events and conferences, she still works local equestrian events.

 

Heidi Potter

Heidi is an internationally known and respected Certified Centered Riding© Clinician, CHA Master Instructor/Clinician and Horse Agility Accredited Trainer from Southern Vermont. She teaches a wide variety of training and riding clinics at her facility, The New England Center for Horsemanship and abroad. Horses and humans alike benefit from her extensive knowledge and gentle approach. As a natural style trainer she specializes in the gentle and progressive way of working with horses. Her ability to read the horse and then progress with calmness, clarity and consistency has proven successful in building more safe, trusting, respectful and enjoyable partnerships between horses and their humans.

Centered Riding© Exercises for All Riders – Miller Coliseum – Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

Learn exercises created by Centered Riding’s founder Sally Swift designed to assist riders in achieving better balance, improved stability and clearer communication with their horse.

Demystifying the Half Halt – MSTU Teaching Arena – Saturday, 3 p.m.

Learn what the half-halt is, how to apply, when to apply it and how to teach it. This session will include interactive exercises with humans, followed by mounted application.

 

Cathy Rothery

Cathy joined Schleese Saddlery Service in 2000, bringing 20 years’ experience in banking, human resources and running a small business. She joined the Saddlefit 4 Life© team in 2006 as Director of International Marketing and focuses on developing innovative educational projects in a variety of media, and courses offered. A passionate advocate for horse and rider well-being and comfort, Cathy reaches out to equine associations to provide saddle fit education to protect horse and rider from long term damage caused by ill-fitting saddles. Cathy graduated from the University of Guelph (Honour Bachelor of Applied Science) and is married, and mom of two adult children, various rescue dogs and grand dogs.

Women, Are You Riding in a Saddle Made for a Man? – Miller Club – Friday, 10:30 a.m.

Riding shouldn’t hurt. The unspoken reality is many female riders suffer from pelvic discomfort, struggle with position (shoulder-hip-heel alignment), sit crooked, feel unbalanced in the saddle, and endure recurring back, hip and neck pain. These common issues are often the result of riding in a saddle made for a man. This session will include discussion, videos, PowerPoint, live demonstrations and exercises, including:

  • Differences in female and male anatomy and pelvis relating to riding and the seat (pelvis, leg ratios, musculature, skeletal) showing the differences that dictate different saddle design for women
  • Saddles design for women and for men – what is the difference?
  • Gender correct saddles and back comfort for the horse
  • Improving effective use of aids in your lessons
  • Interchangeable male female ground seats
  • How to evaluate saddle fit to rider – diagnostic saddle fit checklist

 

Tara Reimer

Tara has always been involved with horses whether training, driving, riding or showing. Tara and her husband, Derek, own/operate Cloud 9 Ranch near Steinbach, Manitoba where she spends most of her time teaching Western and English riding and vaulting lessons, facilitating equine assisted psychotherapy, group discovery and therapeutic riding as well as training horses, judging shows and giving clinics. She is a CHA Clinic Instructor and the CHA Region 2 Director. In 2013, she was the CHA Instructor of the Year! EAGALA certified, she is the Equine Specialist on her equine assisted psychotherapy team. She is also an AQHA Professional Horseman and longtime exhibitor. With Equestrian Canada she is a Western Coach and General Performance Judge. Tara continues to show horses herself and enjoys the challenge of preparing young horses for Futurities. Tara’s passion is teaching, humans and horses, to develop their talents. Tara was twice a guest instructor on the Florida based Horses in the Morning radio show with CHA and has presented at the CHA International Conference in Lexington, Kentucky and at Horse 3 in Brandon. www.cloud9ranch.ca

Effective Groundwork – Miller Coliseum – Saturday, 9 a.m.

Ground work to ‘check in’ makes for calmer, more productive time spent with your horse. Learn how the horse’s brain works so you can identify a lack of confidence, then see how I use a combination of ground work exercises to build the horse’s confidence and activities using equine assisted learning to build our student’s confidence. What does the horse need from you as the handler? Learn more about yourself and how to better communicate, to horses and people. Easy to apply techniques and audience participation.

 

Jochen Schleese

Former member of the German young rider’s Three Day Event Team, Jochen qualified for the European Championships in 1984, but had to retire his horse due to lameness, which abruptly ended his riding career. Years later, through research Jochen discovered his horse’s lameness was caused by damage to the scapular cartilage from an ill-fitting saddle. This was the catalyst for Jochen’s life-long mission to prevent saddle related damage for all horses. Jochen graduated from Passier in 1985 as the youngest Certified Master Saddler in Germany at the time. He came to Canada as the Official Saddler for the 1986 World Dressage Championships. Jochen registered the trade of saddlery in North America in 1990, and operates the only authorized training facility for this trade in Ontario. He established Saddlefit 4 LifeÒ (2006) as an independent organization to teach saddle fit evaluation and analyses, and certify professionals in equine and saddle ergonomics. Jochen lectures at the German Professional Trainers Association in Warendorf Germany, at veterinary conferences in Brazil and is a frequent clinician at trade shows and equine forums worldwide. Jochen is on the advisory board of the Equine Sciences Academy and an education partner with the Ontario Equestrian Federation.

Western Saddle Fit – MTSU Teaching Arena – Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

This interactive demonstration will discuss:

  • Fitting challenges of western saddles
  • Center of balance relative to breed and discipline
  • Correct Saddle Support Area on the horse’s back
  • The 9 Points of Saddle Fit (static) – principles illustrated on horse’s back
  • Dynamic Fit (in motion)
  • Use of saddle blankets- saddle pads
  • Evaluating saddle fit for western saddles – principles and demo
  • Interchangeable – male-female ground seats
  • Systems to achieve optimal fit as the horse changes and develops

Saddle Fit Considerations for Various Breeds – Miller Coliseum – Saturday, 3 p.m.

The number of different breeds and the use of horses have changed dramatically over the last 150 years. Veterinary and medical findings reveal incorrectly fitting saddles can cause pain and damage to the horse. Correct saddle fit facilitates optimum performance and promotes back health. In addition to age and conditioning discussion will include principles professionals need to consider related to conformational differences (back lengths, shoulder conformations, spine, withers) of various breeds which present unique saddle fitting requirements and potential challenges. The horse’s back remains a very sensitive area, despite goals of targeted selection and breeding. One saddle does not fit all.

 

Randi Thompson

Randi is the founder of the “Horse and Rider Awareness® Educational Programs” and ”How to Market Your Horse Business.”  She has been in the horse industry for over 40 years and has been coaching professionals for 20+ years in horse-and-rider training, business and marketing. Randi has worked with many breeds of horses and styles of riding in her career and has produced national winners in the worlds of dressage, hunter/jumper, western pleasure, and flat-shod walking horses. Randi is a Master Instructor for the CHA (English, Jumping, Western) and is available to come to your location for clinics and instructor training. Randi also offers instructor programs with recognized judges for those who want to focus more on coaching or competing in Jumping or Dressage (Tryon, NC area). For more information on how Randi can make a difference for you, go to http://www.horseandriderawareness.com.

Riding Position Magic – MTSU Teaching Arena – Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Teaching a rider a balanced riding position is an art. First we start with the basics… than what do you do? How can you take a rider to the next level in their training process? Now you can watch what happens as Randi shows use techniques that you can use to improve your more advanced students riding position and balance.

 

Carla Wennberg

Carla has been an AQHA judge for 30 years and an NSBA and NRHA for judge 27 years. She was the AQHA 2008 Professional Horsewoman of the Year and for over 25 years was the Instructor and Coach for University of Georgia, Colorado State University, and last ten years at St Andrews University in North Carolina. Carla has coached for the past 10 years, IHSA western for St Andrews University and this year tied for First at IHSA Nationals with Berry College in Georgia. Carla has judged 13 Open and Amateur World Championship shows for AQHA, 3 Youth World Championships for AQHA, 3 All American Quarter Horse Congress shows, and 2 European Championships in Germany. She is also a clinician and master instructor with CHA. Having already staffed a CHA Certification Standard clinic at St. Andrews. Carla loves competing her FEI level gelding and is just 2 scores away from a Silver USDF Medal.

Western Horsemanship Exercises – Miller Coliseum – Friday, 1:30 p.m.

We will start this session with a quick warm up for riders to have a balanced position and explain why it works! Balancing exercises in transitions and the many ways it works for both horse and rider will be examined. Then the steps of collection required in the exercise will be explained. Next, the steering exercises including first with squares and how it works for horses and riders and then controlling the shoulders of both the riders and the horses.  We will also discuss the mental preparation required for the horsemanship rider and how it helps in all pattern work.

 

Dave Whitaker

Dr. Whitaker was the long-time Director of Horse Science at MTSU until 2014.  Dave may be best known for his judging teams who won every major contest including Appaloosas, Paints, Morgans, the AQHA World three times, and the Congress five times.  Dave was an AQHA Director and AQHA judge for more than 31 years.  He has judged horse shows in eleven countries and forty-two states, including the AQHA World Show three times, the Youth World three times, the Select World and the Congress, and the Texas State 4-H Show, possibly his favorite, four times.  He has done clinics in other countries as well, most notably New Zealand, where he was able to combine his knowledge and love of horses with two of his other animal passions on a huge sheep ranch…that also trains their own working stock dogs.  He hosted summer youth horsemanship camps at MTSU for 30 years. Nationally, he served as Chair of AQHA’s Youth Committee and Research Committee which determines disposition of nearly half a million dollars a year in research funding for three years each, as well as serving on the International Committee and Nominations/Credentials Committee. For three years he was the sole non-veterinarian on the Board of the American Assoc. of Equine Practitioners, and currently serves on the AQHA Welfare Committee. A few of the numerous awards that he has won that are very meaningful to him include the TN State 4-H Family Award, Distinguished Alumni from the University of Tennessee, AQHA’s Merle Wood Humanitarian Award, and the National Honorary American Farmer degree from the national FFA convention. Dave and his wife Pat, an Extension educator in Consumer and Family Science, have three children and five grandchildren.

About Middle Tennessee State University Horse Science Program – Holiday Inn – Thursday, 2 p.m.

 

Barbara Wolke

Barbara is the Vice President of the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau. She joined the Convention & Visitors Bureau staff in 2003. She has 30 years of experience in sales and the hospitality industry. Barbara earned her designation as a Certified Hospitality Sales Professional from the Educational Institute with the American Hotel & Motel Association. She earned industry designations as a Travel Marketing Professional from the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College and as a Certified Tennessee Tourism Professional from the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable. Barbara is a native of Middle Tennessee and a 35 year resident of Rutherford County. She is an active member of the Tennessee Society of Association Executives, American Bus Association, Rutherford County and Tennessee Hospitality Associations, and the National Association of Sports Commissions. Barbara is a graduate of the Transit Citizen Leadership Academy, Dale Carnegie Course and the 2015 Leadership Rutherford program.

Welcome to Murfreesboro! – Holiday Inn – Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

 

Lisa Wysocky

Lisa is a registered level PATH International instructor and also holds certifications as a mentor, and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. In addition, she has been chosen as one of the country’s Top 50 riding instructors by ARIA. With a life balanced between books and horses, Lisa is an author, equine clinician, and motivational speaker who trains horses for and consults with therapeutic riding programs. Lisa graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in equine management. Early wins on the national Appaloosa horse show circuit took Lisa across North America, where she was asked to speak, or to write articles for national publications. Lisa’s passion for writing and speaking led to a second run at college where she studied communications and journalism. Lisa is the co-author of a number of books, including My Horse, My Partner: Teamwork on the Ground, which helps horse and human partners form amazing bonds using traditional ground training, natural horsemanship, and desensitization. Lisa combines her love of horses and country music in Horse Country: A Celebration of Country Music and the Love of Horses. This beautiful coffee table book features twenty-seven of the top stars of country music talking about how horses changed their life for the better. Lisa’s six-time award winning Cat Enright equestrian mystery series has recently been optioned for film and television. Lisa is the executive director of Colby’s Army, a therapeutic riding and life learning center, and has a clinic schedule that tales her nationwide. Learn more at http://www.lisawysocky.com.

Choosing the Lesson Horse – MTSU Teaching Arena – Friday, 3 p.m.

Lesson horses are the backbone of any instructor’s barn, but the builds of some horses are better suited for one purpose or another. We all want our horses to stay in our programs for many years, but like people, the bodies of some horses wear out faster than others. Comparing the conformation of several lesson horses, Lisa takes the audience through the pros and cons of each horse as a long-term lesson prospect. From nose to tail, Lisa educates instructors on the best choices for their lesson program.

The Green Barn – Miller Club – Saturday, 9 a.m.

As we become more conscious of good environmental practices, those ideas must also extend to the barn. Many of us also have horses and/or riders with allergies, and those sensitivities can be reduced by using products that are less harsh. From innovative stall beddings, to recycling and repurposing, Lisa presents fun, affordable, and easy to implement eco-friendy solutions that benefit all. Some will even widen your reach within your local community and bring new people to your barn.

 

JoAnne Young

JoAnne has been teaching riding and training horses for over 40 years, and is happy that she is still learning. Every student and every horse bring fresh challenges that keep life interesting. She has been privileged and blessed beyond her wildest dreams to study with such wonderful instructors as Walter Zettl (dressage coach to Canadian event team when they won bronze at Los Angeles Olympics), Bertin Potter in Germany, Molly Sivewright (FEI judge and past chair of the Fellows of the British Horse Society), Carel Eijkenaar (FEI judge), Eddo Hoestra (F.E.I. Trainer) and Doris Halstead (Physical Therapist and author of “Releasing the Potential: Physical Therapy Modalities for Horse and Rider.” Jo-Anne is the author of the M.A. thesis: “Preparing students for riding instructor certification through college curricula.”

Lateral Movements for all Levels of Riders – Miller Coliseum – Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

“Lateral” means “sideways” or “all on one side”, but the skills and movements included in the term range from improving basic beginner steering to advanced level maneuvers. Riders in this workshop will work at their own level. Those new to lateral work will be introduced to the many basic uses and the required aids. Those further along in their riding education will work on refining their aids and timing as they use lateral work to improve the horse’s balance, responsiveness and range of motion.

Industry Breed and Discipline Organizations Join Forces with Time to Ride Challenge

For more information, contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact – Christie Schulte, christie@timetoride.com or 512-591-7811

Additional incentives offered for members who participate by introducing new people
to horses.

May 27, 2016, Georgetown, Texas – Several horse industry breed and discipline organizations have joined forces with the 2016 Time to Ride Challenge to introduce new horse enthusiasts to riding. The Challenge will award $100,000 cash and prizes to the stables, clubs, and businesses who can generate the most “newcomer” interactions with horses; and now participants can also win cash and prizes from breed and discipline organizations of which they are a member.

In addition to the Marketing Alliance Members and Partners, who fund and support Time to Ride, five American Horse Council-member organizations are offering additional incentives: the Certified Horsemanship Association, Arabian Horse Association, United States Dressage Federation, Appaloosa Horse Club, and Pinto Horse Association of America. Each group will award prizes to the members of their association who do best in the Challenge.

Additional prizes offered range from trophy buckles and year-end ceremony recognition, to up to thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, which the Arabian Horse Association is rewarding. These awards are available to members of each organization in addition to the $100,000 cash and prizes they can win as participants in the Time to Ride Challenge.

“Support from these groups make the Challenge even more exciting by giving participants yet another way to win. For example, a stable could win $5,000 as a second-place finisher in its division and also win a trophy buckle from the Certified Horsemanship Association as the highest-placing CHA member in the Challenge,” stated Christie Schulte. “We are thrilled that these organizations have joined our cause this year and are encouraging their membership base to grow their own businesses, disciplines, and breeds.”

“We’re excited to offer American Quarter Horse Association members another reason to participate in this important initiative,” said Craig Huffhines, AQHA Executive Vice President. “Our members will not only have the opportunity to win cash and prizes, they’ll be growing their own businesses and increasing exposure to the American Quarter Horse.”

Since 2014, Challenge participants have introduced over 60,000 new people to horses through beginner friendly events. Stables, clubs and businesses are invited to sign up for the 2016 Challenge by visiting timetoride.com. The Challenge begins June 1st. Upon registration a user can specify which organization he/she is a member of to become eligible for the additional prizes. To learn more visit the website or contact info@timetoride.com.

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance
Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand, the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative, Lumina Media, Pyranha, the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program

About the American Horse Council
The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s Marketing Alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

Certified Horsemanship Association and APHA Partner for Expanded Education and Paint Recognition

For more information, contact:
APHA Marketing
(817) 834-2742
www.apha.com

(May 2016) – APHA recently joined forces with Certified Horsemanship Association, the
largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, to help
promote education, safety and fun through horsemanship.

CHA promotes excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry.
Among their services are certifying instructors and trail guides, accrediting equestrian
facilities, publishing educational manuals, horsemanship DVDs and YouTube safety shorts,
and hosting regional and international conferences.

APHA also strives to increase education among its membership, as well as the greater horse
community. APHA Director of Judges, David Dellin, says this new alliance partnership
provides ample opportunities to accomplish APHA’s educational goals.

“CHA’s mission aligns perfectly with our Markel/APHA Professional Horsemen program, as
well as several other APHA initiatives. We enjoyed hosting CHA’s Christy Landwehr at our
annual APHA Convention in February, and I look forward to sharing APHA’s “The Game
Plan” seminar with CHA International Conference attendees in October,” David said.
Likewise, CHA is excited about the partnership.

“The equine professional members of the Certified Horsemanship Association are thrilled to
partner with the American Paint Horse Association,” CHA Chief Executive Officer Christy
Landwehr said. “Many of our certified riding instructors have registered APHA horses as
lesson horses and as their own personal mounts, so this is such a natural fit. We are excited to
work together.”

One unique aspect of the new partnership includes an annual award for CHA’s Most
Valuable Paint Horse, which will recognize the organization’s top Paint Horse. Additionally,
CHA will provide monthly safety tips to APHA members and Facebook fans.
For more information about CHA, please visit cha-ahse.org or call 859-259-3399. To find a
certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit
chainstructors.com.

###
About APHA
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine
breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it
was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American
Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.

AHA Continues Educational Alliance with Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2016
Contact: AHA
303.696.4500

12-MAY-16 – AURORA, COLO. – The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) is thrilled to announce the
continued Educational Alliance with the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), through a renewed
two (2) year contract.

CHA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that strives to teach and promote excellence in safety and education for the
benefit of the entire horse community and industry. By certifying instructors, accrediting equine facilities,
and producing educational conferences and resources such as horsemanship manuals, DVD’s, safety
videos, webinars, blogs and more, CHA strives to “change lives through safe experiences with horses”
(CHA Website, Why Statement).

“Certified Horsemanship Association is turning 50 years old next year and is glad that the Arabian Horse
Association will be along for the ride during this exciting time,” says Christy Landwehr, CHA Chief
Executive Officer. “Many of our instructors and lesson barns have Arabians and Half-Arabians that their
students love to learn from. We want to provide a way for our members to learn more about what AHA
has to offer them, as well as what CHA has to offer in return.”

Through the alliance with CHA, AHA members will find numerous benefits. These benefits include
access to CHA’s accredited riding facilities and certified instructors. CHA also provides opportunities for
Arabian barn owners and lesson programs to become accredited, helping them to market themselves and
earn possible insurance discounts. The Arabian breed will also benefit as a whole, receiving promotion
through CHA on some educational materials, educational videos and programs throughout the year.

“We are thrilled to be continuing our alliance with CHA,” says Julian McPeak, AHA Director of
Marketing. “We really hope that our members who own and run riding facilities geared towards amateurs
and youth will utilize CHA as a resource and reap the many benefits and educational opportunities that
they offer. The promotion for the Arabian breed, showing their gentle nature and ability to interact with
all ages and riding levels through CHA promotional materials is important to us.”

AHA will promote CHA through their website, social media, e-blasts and magazine articles, encouraging
members to take advantage of their tools and educational resources. AHA members who become CHA
certified or accredited and are an AHA Discovery Farm and Learn to Ride program instructors, will be
recognized and searchable by the general public through AHA’s Get Local webpage.

To learn more about CHA and their accreditation and certification programs, visit www.CHA-ahse.org/.
AHA is excited for all that is in store for their members through this Educational Alliance.
AHA is a major equine association serving 84,000 Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse owners across North America.
AHA registers and maintains a database of more than one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. AHA produces
championship events, recognizes over 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities, education, and
programs that promote breeding and ownership.

2015 CHA International Conference Speakers

Kim Brown

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Kim has more than 35 years of experience equine industry publishing and marketing. Currently she is the Associate Publisher/Editor of two brands for Active Interest Media (AIM) that are focused on business. EquiManagement is for equine veterinarians and Stable Management is for farm/stable owners and riding instructors. Kim’s background includes nearly 30 years at Blood-Horse Publications, the first 15 with The Blood-Horse magazine, ending up as a Contributing Editor, and the second 15 developing The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care as the Publisher/Editor. Kim retired from publishing to become Global Marketing Manager at Kentucky Equine Research, and while there lead the team that created award-winning newsletters and videos, launched a new content-driven educational website, and developed an e-commerce site. Kim then ran her own marketing/content development company for a short time before accepting a full-time position with AIM’s Equine Network. Kim and her musician husband, Ben, moved from Kentucky to Wyoming and are enjoying the outdoor life riding horses, camping, cycling, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and Kim’s favorite—rockhounding. Kim can be reached at KBrown@THINInc.com.

Luck is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity Keynote – Thursday – 3 p.m. 

 

Fred Bruce

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Fred won the CHA Distinguished Service Award in 2009.  He is a Standard, Combined, Seasonal, Trail, Driving and Equine Facility Managers Clinic Instructor for CHA. He has been a part of CHA since 1981 and has been instrumental in starting and improving many CHA certification programs. Fred has been a contributing author for many of the CHA manuals and has served on the CHA Board of Directors.  Fred currently lives in Holbrook, Arizona.

Knot Tying 101 – Trail Encampment – Friday 10:30 a.m.

This session will prepare you to try out your hand at the Markel Trail Challenge and also to get your own knots around horses and packing better. Come for a hands-on and fun experience with ropes!

Packing – Trail Encampment – Friday at 3 p.m.

This session will involve learning how to pack a horse to go into the back country. Keeping your loads safe and balanced and what types of hitches to use. 
 

Tara Gamble

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Tara has been the Past President of the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) and of the Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF), as well as the opportunity to represent Canada as Runner-Up Miss Rodeo Canada 1998.  She has served on the Equine Canada Board of Directors as a representative to recreation, and on the Strathcona County Economic Development and Advisory Committee as the agricultural representative.  It has been an honor for Tara to receive both the CHA Clinic Instructor of the year (2006), and Volunteer of the year (2013) awards. 

She is a CHA Clinic Instructor, and a designated Professional Horseman with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and was appointed to the AQHA Youth Activities Committee in 2012, where she is able to contribute to her vision of helping the industry to work collaboratively to strengthen it.  Her education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Alberta.

With over twenty three years of industry teaching experience and a background in both western and english, Tara offers weekly riding lessons at her facility east of Ardrossan, Alberta.  In addition, she judges various horsemanship competitions, presents seminars and instructs clinics.  She has been fortunate to work with many equine professionals on the provincial, national and international levels which has greatly enriched her experiences.  

Transitions to Improve Lightness – Indoor Arena – Friday at 10:30 a.m. 

This session will focus on how the use of transitions can assist in creating a more responsive and lighter horse. Through a series of exercises you will see a progression of how both the rider and horse improve their responsiveness to the aids, and discuss the benefits of this.  The ultimate goal is to achieve a true partnership; working in harmony to develop feel as a rider and in turn a more attentive, supple and lighter horse.  

 

Julie Goodnight

Julie-Goodnight.jpgJulie is the popular RFD-TV host of Horse Master airing Monday and Saturday nights. Julie travels the USA sharing her no-nonsense horsemanship training with riders of all disciplines. Whether you ride English, Western, dressage or trail ride, Julie’s “Classic Skills for a Natural Ride” teaching helps you feel more confident in the saddle and helps you understand the “whys” of horsemanship. She loves continually learning and sharing horse behavior insights and she relates that knowledge to how you should interact with your horses. She’s experienced in dressage and jumping, racing, reining, cow horse, colt-starting, and wilderness riding. You’ve probably seen her articles in Horse & Rider, The Trail Rider and many other horse publications. Julie is honored to be the International Spokesperson for the Certified Horsemanship Association and was named Equine Affaire’s Exceptional Equestrian Educator. Julie grew up on the hunter-jumper circuits in Florida, but is now at home in the west. She and her husband Rich Moorhead live in the mountains. Both love versatility ranch horse competitions and riding cow-horses. 

Working with Advanced Riders – Indoor Arena – Friday at 9 a.m. 
The Science of Cueing – Indoor Arena – Saturday at 9 a.m.
Schooling the School Horse – East Pen – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

 

Van Hargis

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Van Hargis is known as one of today’s most versatile horsemen/clinicians. More than just a clinician who talks about horsemanship, Van is a true horseman whose clinic and seminar presentations are born out of real-world experience working with and learning from horses. Van started riding horses when he was only four years old and launched his career as a trainer at twelve when the wife of world-renowned saddle maker Billy Cook hired him to train her horse. He spent much of his youth in the saddle, working cattle at ranches around his Texas home. At the same time Van was honing his skills as a trainer and competitor, taking both his own and his clients’ horses into the show ring and the rodeo arena. Van and the horses he’s trained have excelled in show and rodeo events like ranch horse versatility (his specialty), western pleasure, trail classes, calf roping, team roping, and steer wrestling. Van’s practical experiences on the ranch and in competition, coupled with a dynamic speaking ability, have made him one of the most requested clinicians at equestrian facilities and events across the country. He moves easily across the “great divide” between the western and English riding worlds, and has worked successfully with horses from many disciplines, including both working ranch horses and show horses in western pleasure, hunter-jumper, and dressage. In horsemanship and in life, Van firmly believes there’s “nothing but the basics,” and that those basics are the same no matter what equestrian discipline appeals to you. Van uses each presentation he gives as an opportunity to share how the horse has helped him realize the important lessons in his life. He utilizes the arena and the horse to emphasize the most fundamental lesson: the need for a solid foundation, in horse training as well as everyday life. Van’s ability to use the horse to educate, motivate, inspire, and entertain will encourage you to take a long look at your life, your relationships, and your horsemanship.

Reduce Your Problems to the Ridiculous – Indoor Arena – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Are You Focused on Success?  – Keynote – Saturday at 7 p.m. 

 

Craig Huffhines 

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Craig’s enthusiasm is contagious and his knowledge and passion for the agriculture and livestock industries is quickly recognizable. He graduated with a bachelor of science from Texas A&M University and received a master of science from Colorado State University. After college, he began working at the American Hereford Association where he was the director of feedlot and carcass programs and director of Certified Hereford Beef before he was elevated to executive vice president in 1997. 

On April 1, Craig accepted the executive vice president’s position at the world’s largest equine breed organization – the American Quarter Horse Association. Craig brings 17 years of experience with him to the Association. He has recorded success in turning around a 30-year decline in registrations and beef breed popularity, balancing budgets during lean years, developing a new branded-beef enterprise, executing and revising governance structure to meet the demands of the 21st century and reinvigorating the interest among youth, while growing the Hereford Research and Youth foundations and managing the American Hereford Association staff. 

Craig and his wife, Mary Jon, have recently relocated with their sons, Seth, Cole and Miles, to Amarillo, the home of AQHA’s international headquarters. 

Welcome to Amarillo and AQHA – Thursday Reception – AQHA Hall of Famepen

 

Jim Jennings

jim_jennings.jpgJim is the retired Executive Director of Publications for the American Quarter Horse Association. He worked full time for AQHA for 37 years prior to his retirement in 2008, following which he then served the Association as a consultant for another six years. He is the author of the award-winning book “Best Remudas” and of the book “They Still Ride Good Horses,” which was published this year in conjunction with AQHA’s 75th anniversary. He is a past president of American Horse Publications and of the Livestock Publications Council, has been inducted into the LPC Hall of Fame and was named an American Horse Publications Champion. Jim currently serves on the board of trustees for the Texas 4-H Development Foundation. 

Jim and his wife, Mavis, live in Amarillo, and although retired, Jim continues to write for different publications. Currently he writes the scripts for the weekly television show “Somewhere West of Wall Street.”

History of Amarillo – AQHA Hall of Fame – Thursday Reception

 

Teresa Kackert

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Teresa has been CHA Clinic Instructor since 2003. She is an AQHA Professional Horseman and member of the Wrangler Extreme Team She is also Chris Irwin Natural Horsemanship ‘Double-Gold’ Certified and a Richard Shrake Resistance Free Riding Master Level Trainer/Instructor. Teresa is the creator of the ‘Soft Touch’ Training Program – Classical Equitation & Natural Horsemanship and has over 20 years professional experience as a rider, competitor, trainer, instructor, clinician and personal coach. She is founder of Great Horses of America, Consignment Horse Sales Company and Co-Founder of Pink Heart Pony Kids, Inc. Teresa specializes in: confidence building in both horse and rider, horse behavior modification, motivational personal coaching and skill enhancement for riders & horses of all levels and disciplines. www.GreatHorses.org.

Jumping Exercises – Indoor Arena – Friday at 1:30 p.m.

This session will be great for those just starting to teach jumping as well as those that have been coaching this discipline for a while. Come and join us to see different flatwork exercises, ground pole drills and jumping gymnastics and courses to help your riders succeed. 

How to Develop Feel in Riders – East Pen – Saturday at 9 a.m. 

We all strive to achieve true feel when we ride!  Now learn how to teach feel as well. Exercises will be presented at all three gaits for a variety of levels of riders in this session.

 

Stan Loewen

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Stan won the CHA Clinic Staff of the Year Award in 2009. He is a lifetime member of CHA and has been involved since the 1970s. Stan has conducted Standard, Combined, Seasonal and Trail Clinics for CHA. He has put his heart and soul into CHA and has done over 70 clinics, so has certified at the very least over 500 riding instructors and trail guides. Stan has been on the CHA Board of Directors and very helpful in the creation of the Trail Program and the CHA Trail Guide Manual of which he is on the cover packing into the Bob Marshall wilderness.

Packing – Trail Encampment – Friday at 3 p.m.

This session will involve learning how to pack a horse to go into the back country. Keeping your loads safe and balanced and what types of hitches to use. 

Dutch Oven Cooking – Trail Encampment – Saturday at 9 a.m.

Come and eat some pastry for breakfast!  Learn how to use a Dutch oven and what you can cook in it while packing out with your horses or in your own backyard!

Amanda Love

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Amanda is the Horsemanship Director at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. She is the coach of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Team there and also teaches numerous classes. Amanda is currently on the CHA Board of Directors and is an active rider and does cross fit.

Jumping Exercises – Indoor Arena – Friday at 1:30 p.m.

This session will be great for those just starting to teach jumping as well as those that have been coaching this discipline for a while. Come and join us to see different flatwork exercises, ground pole drills and jumping gymnastics and courses to help your riders succeed.

 

Jordan Manfredi

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Jordan Manfredi, MBA joins us from Purdue University Calumet, where she spent two years as a continuing lecturer in equine business management, marketing, promotion and sales within their School of Business. Currently, Jordan is the president of Big Red Advisory Group, an equine consulting group whose clients include Intrepid International, a global equine product distributor and Horse Tack Co., a leading e-commerce retailer. Furthermore, Jordan teaches equine business management at LIU-Post in Long Island, New York. Jordan, an avid hunter/jumper rider of 26 years has consulted for various national and international equine companies and has presented at several trade shows and conferences, including the United States Pony Club National Meeting and Hoosier Horse Expo.

Marketing that Works! – Classroom – Saturday 1:30 p.m. 

Tired of marketing tactics that don’t produce ROI? Are you throwing away valuable marketing dollars? Are you looking to grow your business but not sure how? Well then, let’s go back to the basics to create a plan that works. This seminar will teach you how to: Outline and intimately understand your target market; develop a SWOT analysis that highlights your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats; create SMARTS goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely and Sustainable; measure success and ROI; and implement tried and true marketing tactics that won’t break the bank. We will also brainstorm marketing ideas and share success stories. Furthermore, you will be given the opportunity to start a marketing plan and to discuss one on one any marketing questions you may have.

 

Jim McDonald

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Jim is a lifelong horseman and a lifelong learner.  In the year 2000, he started a non-profit organization dedicated to horsemanship education.  Part of its mission is to make the joy of a relationship with a horse available to people who would not ordinarily have that opportunity and that was the original motivation for founding the Graham Equestrian center (www.Grahameq.org).  They work closely with anyone who wants to advance their horsemanship skills and knowledge.  Jim is currently the CHA Board Treasurer and an AQHA Professional Horseman.

Horsemanship Through Principles of Behavioral Science and Learning Theory – Classroom – Friday at 1:30 p.m. 

 

Ed Montana

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From the polka dance halls of the Midwest with his father’s band at age 10, to the Alps of Europe singing songs about Texas and dang near every PRCA Rodeo in between, Ed is a busy man. Traveling with the original Coors Cowboy Band, Ed has been very lucky to have traveled all over the beautiful USA doing what he loves most… playing music.

Cowboy Welcome to Texas – Coors Cowboy Club – Thursday at 2 p.m.

 

Terry Myers

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Terry is a leading trainer, teacher and national clinician, but above all he is a true horseman. Myers has trained stock and hunter horses for state, national and world competition. But he doesn’t just train the show horse. His training is for all horses regardless of the discipline. He incorporates work with both horse and rider to achieve balanced movements. His Ride-in-Sync® philosophy helps riders understand how body position affects horse performance. Through Myers’ 45 years of experience and work with thousands of horses and riders, he has developed coaching and demonstration methods which provides logical information that is easily understood and put to use. Consistent feedback from clinic attendees is confirmation that Terry’s training ideology and teaching style produces results.

How Shoulder Control Affects Performance – Indoor Arena – Friday at 3 p.m.

More than anything else, having your horse soft and square in their shoulders improves performance. A horse must be square in their shoulders in order to be able lift their back and drive with their hind end. If they are not square in their shoulders, the hind end has no place to go and they end up with their hocks out in their tail. Terry will show how the rider can lift and square the horse’s shoulders as part of softness and collection. With his instruction, this will be accomplished through rider body position and putting the horse into a correct frame. No matter what the discipline, shoulder control impacts performance. 

 

National Cutting Horse Association

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Come and ride a trained cutting horse on a flag with local professional trainers during this session. On May 1, 1946, the National Cutting Horse Association was formed by a group of cowboys and ranchers with the main goals of promoting cutting competition, standardizing contest rules, and preserving the cutting horse’s western heritage. NCHA held its first cutting in Dublin, Texas, in September 1946. The ensuing decades have afforded tremendous growth for the NCHA, and today, more than 2,200 shows are held annually with total prize money exceeding $36 million.

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Ride a Cutter – Indoor Arena – Friday at Noon

 

National Reining Horse Association

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First offered in 2010 at the Alltech© FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., “NRHA Ride a Reiner” has taken the country by storm by giving novice and experienced riders the opportunity to ride a reining horse. Nowhere else in the world can spectators find an option like this: the chance to receive a hands-on lesson from an NRHA Professional, to enjoy a dizzying spin and to feel the power of sliding stops on a well-trained reining horse!

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Ride a Reiner – Indoor Arena – Saturday at Noon 

 

Valerie Ormond

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Following a 25-year career leading as a naval officer, Valerie dedicated her time to promoting the horse industry and sharing lessons learned. Her two award-winning novels, “Believing In Horses” and “Believing In Horses, Too,” highlight rescues, competition, equine-assisted therapies, military families, and the healing power of horses. Valerie blended education, advocacy, and inspiration into stories that also introduce readers to real-life organizations which have since gained recognition in the form of grants, fundraisers, publicity, new volunteers, and political acknowledgement. Valerie founded Veteran Writing Services, LLC, and is a charter member of the first National Women Veterans Speakers Bureau, being named one of the Top 101 Leadership Speakers in 2015. A Certified Horsemanship Association instructor in both English and Western, she rides and competes in the National Capital Adult Equestrian League, and serves as Secretary of the Maryland Horse Council.  You can reach Valerie at http://BelievingInHorses.com/

Leading Beyond the Saddle – Classroom – Friday at 10:30 a.m.

You may be the most influential leader in your students’ lives. What lessons do you want to impart in the time you are with them? And how? You have a larger impact than you realize in the horse industry beyond your individual role at a barn, within a discipline, or in a lesson program — and communication is key. Come to this interactive session to discover ways to mentor, motivate, and lead our next generation of horse enthusiasts to help them achieve their goals.

 

John Pipkin

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John is currently the Director of the Equine Industry Program and a Regents Professor of Animal Science at West Texas A&M University where his duties include coaching the Horse Judging Team, and overseeing the Equestrian and Stock Horse Teams, in addition to teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities. He has been an approved judge for over 20 years, and currently has judge’s cards with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), American Paint Horse Association (APHA), National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA), National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA), and World Conformation Horse Association (WCHA).  He has judged over 400 total shows in 10 different countries and 33 states including 7 AQHA World, 4 APHA World, 3 International Championships, and other major AQHA, APHA, NRHA and NSBA shows.  Pipkin’s judging teams have won 120 (99 at WTAMU) National or World Champion or Reserve Champion titles including the 2013 and 2014 AQHA Collegiate World and NRHA Championships; and Equestrian Teams under his program direction have won 41 National Champion or Reserve Champion titles, including the 2013 IHSA Western National Champion team.  He has trained and shown professionally in Halter, Reining, Working Cow Horse, Western Pleasure, Western Riding, and Trail, as well as these and other classes as a youth exhibitor.  He is a National Director for AQHA, currently serves on the AQHA and WCHA Judges Committees, and has served as Chair of the AQHA Show and Professional Horsemen Committee, and the AQHA Show Council. Dr. Pipkin has been awarded the Outstanding Young Professional Award by the Equine Science Society and the Texas 4-H Alumni Award.  At WT, he has received the Magister Optimus award, the university’s highest faculty recognition.  The Texas A&M University System awarded him the Teaching Excellence Award, and named him a Regents Professor.   

West Texas A&M University Welcome – CHA Annual Meeting – Thursday 

 

Sanna Roling

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Sanna is a life member of CHA devoting her talents as a Level 3 English and Level 2 Western Instructor to horsemanship for people with disabilities and youth-at-risk.  A past or present member of several committees including the Instructor Manual, Standards, and IRD, Sanna has devoted much of her CHA life to IRD and today runs Dream Catcher Stables, Inc in Houston, TX.  A Special Olympics Equestrian Coach (1995 World Games Coach from Texas), Path Int’l Registered Instructor, Certified Texas Special Education and Math Teacher, Sanna also played an instrumental part in creating the Top Hands Horse Show (Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo) which was duplicated by Ft. Worth, TX (Chisolm Challenge) and Austin, TX (Golden Stirrup).  In 26 years her athletes (298) have brought home 264 firsts, 282 seconds, 224 thirds, 188 fourths, 148 fifths 99 sixths, 151 honorable mentions.  

Teaching Riders with Disabilities in a Recreational Riding Program – Classroom – Friday at 3 p.m. 

Share in the abilities of people with autism, traumatic brain injury, Down Syndrome, complex traumatic stress disorder, Cerebral Palsy, paraplegia, amputation and hip replacement, visual impairment, hearing impairment, mental retardation, and anxiety disorder.  Be part of a discussion including teaching strategies and challenges, reasons why these athletes chose the equestrian sport, and advantages gained.

 

Darla Ryder 

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Darla started at the age of eight with bareback and western riding and in her early twenties spent time overseas under the tillage of an instructor with the BHS (British Horse Society). Her career with horses has been varied in both breeds and disciplines. She has raised and shown Quarter, Arabian, Appaloosa, Miniatures and Gypsy Horses. Darla has successfully served as a trainer, facility/equine manager for a hunter/jumper barn, a cutting horse facility and as the Executive Director for a Therapeutic Riding Center. She currently schools horses for clients, teaches able bodied riders as well as riders with special needs and travels as a mentors for various equine programs. She has been with CHA since 1995 and is certified at the Master and Clinician level in Standard Certification, Instructors of Riders with Disabilities, Facilities Management and Vaulting Coach Certification. She is also a certified instructor with PATH. Darla has presented mounted and classroom presentation, clinics and workshops nationwide and was the first recipient in 2003 of the coveted  “CHA Clinic Instructor of the Year.” 

ABC’s of the Human/Horse Relationship – East Pen – Friday at 3 p.m. 

This workshop is a must for anyone who owns or works with horses. With over fifty years of equine experience and the mentorship as a girl of a retired cavalryman, these techniques Darla shares, work! Using the knowledge of how horses communicate with each other it will teach you, how to communicate with a horse in his own language. Gaining this knowledge and adapting it in your ground handling techniques bring about a true partnership between human and horse. Confidence and trust on both sides! This method of handling and training makes for the perfect personal or school horse.  A horse that willingly follows with the leader between the nose and shoulder on a loose lead, a horse that is quiet and willing, No special equipment is needed or used. 

 

Jochen Schleese

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Jochen documented over 34 years of his experience as German Certified Master Saddler and Saddle Ergonomist in his books ‘Suffering in Silence – The Saddle Fit Link to Physical and Psychological trauma in Horses’ (2013), ‘The Silent Killer’ (2012) and DVD ’Beyond the 9 Points of Saddle Fit’.

Saddle Fit Issue that Affect Comfort, Performance and Even Soundness – Classroom – Friday at 9 a.m.
Identifying and Correcting Saddle Fit Issues to Horse and to Rider – East Pen – Friday at 1:30 p.m. 

 

Tom Scrima 

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Tom serves as a board member of the American Competitive Trail Horse Association, a 501 c3 nonprofit. During his high school and college years Tom earned his tuition and spending money training horses and giving riding lessons. It wasn’t until meeting his future bride, while both were instructing at a summer camp, that he realized he really didn’t know much about riding so he took a back seat to her Intercollegiate Collegiate All American status and focused in on business during his later years at the University of Notre Dame. He then went on to obtain an Advanced Degree from DMAA in Direct Marketing.

How to Take Your Horse Business to the Next Level with Little to No Dollar Outlay- The Economics of Economical Marketing – Classroom – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

We have all heard that you have about 2 seconds to capture the reader or you are out of there! In the horse industry we are all so busy with our passion and jobs that that’s probably a generous estimate! In this session find out the true cost of “free” emailing, true cost of snail mail, if digital and hard print pay off, how do you survive with a virtually zero marketing budget, and find out how to sell the sizzle. We will also discuss stories of Ed Maher…the greatest marketing genius ever and founder of the DMAA…a man who tuned pennies to hundred dollar bills…from a wheel chair and will provide you with a summary of cost free approaches to let new customers know you are ready for them.

 

Dennis Sigler 

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Dennis is a Professor and Extension Horse Specialist in the Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University.  Dr. Sigler received a B.S. degree from Abilene Christian University, a M.S. degree from Texas Tech and his Ph.D. degree from Texas A&M.  From 1980 to 1989 he was the leader of the equine teaching and research program at Kansas State University.  For the 15 years prior to joining the faculty at Texas A&M in 2006, Dr. Sigler was employed in the livestock feed industry as a nutritionist and sales director.  He has done nutrition, formulation, sales and marketing work for a total of 6 different feed companies.    In addition to extension education activities, Dr. Sigler conducts research and trains graduate students in the area of exercise science and nutrition.  Specifically, he is interested in conditioning and management of the juvenile and mature athletic horse to maximize performance and enhance structural integrity.  Other areas of interest include nutritional strategies to enhance performance and reduce musculo-skeletal injuries.  Dr. Sigler has served as President of the Equine Science Society, has published numerous scientific and popular press articles and has served as an invited speaker at many national and state-wide meetings.  He is a member of the American Society of Animal Science and the Equine Science Society. Dr. Sigler has a lifetime of practical horse experience.  He has been an AQHA-approved judge for 33 years and has judged horse shows in nearly every state and in 5 foreign countries.  He is also an accomplished horseman, having shown and trained horses for a variety of performance events, including cutting, reining and cow horse.  He was a founding member and Past-President of the Stock Horse of Texas Association and the American Stock Horse Association.  He currently serves on the Executive Board and is Immediate Past-President of the Texas Quarter Horse Association. 

Energetics for the Performance Horse – Classroom – Saturday at 10:30 a.m. 

 

Cheryl West

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Cheryl is a Master CHA Instructor for English, Western, Therapeutic and Jumping, and a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship certified instructor and mentor.  She specializes in infusing dressage and biomechanics into all riding disciplines and developing instructors. Owns and operates West Equestrian Ranch in Sand Springs Oklahoma, teaching lessons to over 60+ riders a week at her ranch as well as Stillwater, Broken Arrow, Edmond, Stigler and more. She often travels certifying instructors, mentoring and teaching clinics. Serves on the board for Great Plains Dressage Chapter, Oklahoma Dressage Chapter board, the CHA development for Instructors for Riders with Disabilities committee, and in process of helping other groups start up.  She was the program manager for American Therapeutic Center, with 70+ riders, for 5 years. She strives to use to encourage riders and people from all walks of life that upper level equitation can be achieved no matter what discipline, horse or income. 

Connected Riding – East Pen – Friday at 10:30 a.m. 

Connected riding would focus on the rider and their ability to clearly communicate to the horse. Many times we spend a lot of energy trying to fix the horse, without realizing that what we do in the saddle, and how we ride affects much of their response. This includes fear and tension.  We use biomechanics and connection to help us be more aware of our bodies.

 

Melanie Wilhelm

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Melanie Wilhelm of Wilhelm Performance Horses is located in Nazareth, Texas. A NRHA Professional, Melanie has a current NRHA Lifetime Earnings of more than $34,400. Her accomplishments include many great accolades including a 2011 Open Derby finalist, 2012 NRHA Professional Horse Woman of the Year, and multiple AQHA World Show qualifications. From the round pen to the show pen, Wilhelm Performance Horses specializes in producing reining horses of the highest caliber as well as developing youth and non pro riders.

Getting Your Students Involved with Reining – Indoor Arena – Saturday at 10:30 a.m. 

Melanie will teach you how to implement simple reining based exercises into your lesson program to keep your beginner students involved while giving them goals for success!

 

JoAnne Young 

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JoAnne has been teaching riding and training horses for over 40 years, and is happy that she is still learning.  Every student and every horse bring fresh challenges that keep life interesting.  She has been privileged and blessed beyond her wildest dreams to study with such wonderful instructors as Walter Zettl (dressage coach to Canadian event team when they won bronze at Los Angeles Olympics), Bertin Potter in Germany,  Molly Sivewright (FEI judge and past chair of the Fellows of the British Horse Society), Carel Eijkenaar (FEI judge), Eddo Hoestra (F.E.I. Trainer) and Doris Halstead (Physical Therapist and author of “Releasing the Potential: Physical Therapy Modalities for Horse and Rider.”  Jo-Anne is the author of the M.A. thesis:  “Preparing students for riding instructor certification through college curricula.”

Lateral Work Defined – East Pen – Saturday at 10:30 a.m. 

What to Expect During a CHA Certification Clinic

The Certified Horsemanship Association’s Certification Clinic season is currently under way for those who want to get certified or renew a certification as a riding instructor, camp staff, equestrian program staff, a vaulting or driving instructor, and/or a therapeutic riding instructor. Certification is valid for three years, at which time, a Certified Instructor must provide documentation of 25 hours of continuing education and proof of work in the industry. In order to raise the level of certification, instructors must attend another certification clinic.

Various clinics are currently offered in 20 states and two Canadian provinces (Manitoba and Ontario), and new clinics are added to the schedule throughout the year. Certification offers a variety of benefits, not only for the certified individual, but also for their employer, program manager, and clients/students. To learn more about the various benefits, read CHA’s blog post, “Why You Should Find a Certified Riding Instructor” at http://cha-ahse.org/store/blog/why_a_certified_instructor.html.

For those who are already registered for a Certification Clinic, we’re going to take a look at how the clinic is structured and how to prepare for your certification clinic and evaluations.

The Certification Clinic Structure
In a nutshell, a CHA Certification Clinic is a multi-day (usually 4- to 5-day) intensive clinic held at a CHA Program Member host site. Each clinic attendee must attend at least 40 mandatory hours during the clinic, pass written tests, teach at least four practice lessons, undergo a riding evaluation under two CHA Certified Clinicians (and fellow attendees), and attend at least five in-depth workshops on risk management, teaching techniques, professionalism, and herd management.

The purpose of the clinic is to evaluate a participant to see if they can teach at the level they would like to get certified at and to see if their instruction is “safe, effective, and fun.” To achieve certification, a candidate must meet Certification Competency Guidelines, and certification is determined by two Clinic Staff. Certification at any level is never guaranteed, and sometimes an attendee’s skills may not be up to par to achieve a certification at the clinic.

There are four levels that instructors can achieve in flatwork in English and/or Western and in jumping. Those who do not jump can still become certified at all four levels on the flat. Clinic staff at the host site set the schedule, but it can be modified during the clinic due to unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather.

Those who are certified as an Assistant Instructor are allowed to help another CHA Instructor during lessons and rides in English and/or Western, but they must be at least 16 years old by the last day of their certification clinic. CHA Instructors must be 18 by the last day of the clinic.

Level 1 Instructor: This involves arena riding in either English or western, and there is a strong emphasis on safety and group control. A CHA Level 1 Instructor teaches introductory skills, such as walk, trot, stop, start, and steer, along with ground lessons.

Level 2 Instructor: This level instructor may teach weekly riding lessons or day camps. A CHA Level 2 Instructor teaches improved balance, cueing, and control, with riders learning diagonals, patterns, trail riding, and progressing to a canter or lope and possibly pre-jumping exercises.

Level 3 Instructor: This level instructor helps a rider improve their form, style, and use of aids and places more emphasis on horsemanship theory and horse care. This can include exercises such as getting the correct lead, improving control of the canter, basic jumping, transitions, and school figures.

Level 4 Instructor: This level includes instructors who may be specialists in one breed or discipline. A Level 4 Instructor will teach flying lead changes, leg yields, and lateral work and may specialize in stadium jumping, cross-country jumping, dressage, or reining and horsemanship patterns. Advanced horsemanship theory and horse management is taught at this level.

Master Instructor (Level 4.4): A Master Instructor teaches both English and western at Level 4 and is highly experienced in a variety of teaching and management situations. There may be an increased focus on jumping.

For Master Instructors who would like to become CHA Certified Clinicians, the Clinic Instructors at their certification clinic can recommend them as an Assistant Clinic Instructor (ACI) or as a Clinic Instructor (CI). There are age requirements for these positions. An ACI can help others in the certification process at clinics. A CI is qualified to run a certification clinic and certify instructors along with another CI after they have been an ACI and worked at two different clinics in two different locations under two different clinic staff. All ACIs and Cis must be able to evaluate others correctly and be able to encourage others while also having the ability to give constructive comments in a kind manner.

To achieve certification, an attendee must be able to pass each level before they are evaluated at the next level. So even if you are a fabulous jumping instructor, you will not be tested on those skills until your skills teaching at Level 1 have been evaluated and confirmed. The first lesson will be at Level 1, and if you get become certified as a Level 4 Instructor, then CHA says that you are competent to teach at all the levels below that.

The 40 mandatory hours involves 20 hours in which attendees teach and ride in at least four sample riding lessons. Your skills as an instructor will be evaluated. When you don’t teach, you will be riding in other people’s lessons acting as a student. Three lessons are mounted, and one is a ground lesson. Each clinic has a minimum of five workshops. There may or may not be a skills evaluation section.

The Five Skill Areas

Two Clinic Staff evaluate your skills in five areas: safety, horsemanship, teaching skills, group control, and professionalism.

Safety: CHA emphasizes safety, and all instructors must maintain safety awareness at all times around students since students model behavior based on what the instructor does. To pass this category, you must score at least 7 out of 10. Attendees are evaluated on rules and procedures and that you can demonstrate and enforce those rules and procedures while showing leadership skills. Your personal safety habits must be spot on and you should be positive and calm in problem situations.

Horsemanship: This involves tack adjustment and fit, ground skills, riding ability, and knowledge of theory behind the skills. You must have horsemanship/riding skills at one level above the level you become certified to teach. The riding evaluation includes mounting and dismounting, riding at a walk, trot, and canter or lope on the correct lead with control and proper form.

Teaching Skills: Clinic staff will look at your preparation, your organization of material, and your utilization of resources while teaching. During your practice lessons, you must present appropriate material creatively and clearly, identify problems, and be able to find solutions to those problems. You must be able to effectively evaluate lessons, situations, and people.

Group Control: This evaluates voice projection, communication (eye contact, age appropriate), control of a group in the riding arena and possibly on the trail (if that is part of the clinic), and that you use your Assistant Instructors effectively.

Professionalism: You will be evaluated on how you implement the CHA Standards, whether you are professional in appearance and presentation and mature and consistent with a positive attitude, whether you have good interpersonal relationship skills, and respect and empathy for horses.

Your weakest area of evaluation will determine your level of certification. For instance, if you score at a Level 2 in group control, but score at a Level 4 in the other areas, you will be certified as a Level 2 Instructor. In addition, you may be certified at different levels for English and western.

Our tips in this blog come from CHA’s webinar, “Preparing for CHA Instructor Certification.” For more information on how to prepare for your evaluations, how your sample lessons are structured and what is being evaluated, and the clinic as a whole, you can watch the free webinar above or on CHA’s YouTube Channel. The webinar is a must-see video if you are headed to a certification clinic.

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If you aren’t already registered, now may be the time to book your trip and register for a Certification Clinic if you live near or can travel to one of the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington. To learn more about the various certifications, please visit .

CHA has been certifying riding instructors for more than 45 years and is the largest certifying organization in North America. For more information on attending a CHA Certification Clinic, please visit . For questions, please call CHA in Lexington, KY, at 859-259-3399 or email info@cha-ahse.org.

Why Becoming Accredited is Important for Equestrian Programs and Facilities

By Sarah Evers Conrad

Whether you run an equestrian facility of any kind or are seeking one out for riding lessons, camp, board, or training for your horse, site accreditation should be on your mind. The Certified Horsemanship Association Site Accreditation Program is a program that allows equine facilities to get a designation from CHA that states they have met certain standards for quality, effectiveness, and safety set forth within the CHA Standards for Equestrian Programs manual.

A variety of equestrian programs and facilities can apply for accreditation. These include lesson programs, camps with horses*, colleges, schools, private or public boarding or training operations, recreational riding programs, driving programs, vaulting programs, programs for riders with disabilities*, trail ride operations, and outfitters. Every facility that applies for Accreditation will be meticulously inspected by two trained CHA Site Visitors who will go through every standard to ensure compliance.

CHA Accreditation covers three main areas: the facility itself, how the program operates, and the program’s management. The standards set forth guidelines for:

  • Safe grooming and tacking areas
  • Arena and trail construction and maintenance
  • Safe and humane areas for animals
  • Emergency plans
  • Staff qualifications
  • Program policies and procedures
  • Director qualifications
  • Horse selection
  • And so much more

The CHA site accreditation program is a well-established program that CHA consistently seeks to improve. Since accreditation is only available to CHA Business/Program Members, these members receive all of the Business/Program Membership benefits, as we discussed in the blog last time. http://cha-ahse.org/store/blog/business_membership_benefits.html

However, accreditation status also offers additional benefits, for both the facility and the customers considering that facility. The benefits below make it worthwhile for programs and facilities to become CHA Accredited. Let’s look at how CHA Site Accreditation helps these two parts of the horse industry.

Benefits of CHA Site Accreditation

CHA Accreditation helps facilities and equine programs to:

Strive for Excellence The Standards for Equestrian Programs manual was developed by experts from equestrian programs, insurance providers, equine industry professionals, and legal consultants. These experts created a document with the highest standards possible for quality and safety. Those facilities who want to strive for excellence must meet 100% of the mandatory standards and 80% of the recommended standards. In addition, certain specialized equine programs—such as driving, vaulting, or programs for riders with disabilities—may have additional standards they need to meet. CHA Accreditation helps programs develop high standards and a consistent way of doing things effectively and safely.

Assure the Public That They Care About Their Customers – One of the main goals of the accreditation program was to help the public select equine programs that meet industry-accepted standards. Meeting industry standards for safety and quality allows an equine program to show customers that they care about their participants’ safety, horse welfare, and the quality of service they are providing. It signals to potential customers that the business at-hand is willing to be scrutinized and held to high standards of their own choice. However, even if a business followed all of the standards, it doesn’t mean that an accident can’t happen. We all know there is an inherent risk in working with large animals with a mind of their own. However, facilities that have met accreditation standards are committed to reducing that risk and promoting safety each and every day.

Provide a System of Accountability and Credibility – Accreditation allows parents, grandparents, and other guardians to put their trust in the accredited equine program that has a system of accountability and credibility behind it. The accredited facility has shown that it will go to great lengths to meet set safety standards, is willing to be evaluated, and has passed the inspection of professional CHA Site Visitors who inspect the facility for compliance of each and every standard. Businesses set themselves above other potential businesses under consideration by a parent or guardian by voluntarily applying for and meeting industry standards set forth by an international organization that focuses on safety, effectiveness, and quality.

Improve the Industry as a Whole – It behooves all of us to raise the level of programs available within the equine industry. This allows us to have better lesson programs, better care for our horses, top-notch training and competition programs, better horse camps, etc. As facilities raise their standards to meet an international accreditation like that provided by CHA, then it benefits all participants. As is written in the Introduction, the “Standards for Equestrian Programs is offered for the benefit, safety, and improvement of the equine industry and the clients and horses it serves.”

Meet Customer Demand – In today’s market, the consumer has many options for almost anything they desire. And today’s consumer has learned how to do research, especially thanks to the internet, to find the best business that will meet their needs. Most consumers want a high-quality product or service, and CHA Accreditation signals to potential customers that a business has met high standards. In addition, since the US government does not regulate equine facilities, YET, having businesses meet standards set by the industry becomes even more important. And if the US government does decide to regulate the equine industry down the road, the framework will already be in place for those businesses that already have CHA Site Accreditation.

Market Themselves More Effectively – If an equine business markets themselves as CHA Accredited and lets potential customers know the importance of that designation, they have then set themselves above their competition in the market. It becomes especially important if there is another accredited facility within a particular market. For if the competitor is CHA Accredited and another is not, then the business that is not may see a decline in business as customers choose another facility. Accredited facilities should make sure to use the CHA logo on all advertising, letterheads, displays, and marketing materials. In addition, the CHA Site Accreditation sign can be displayed on the property. Those programs that are accredited are also promoted through CHA, such as in the database of certified riding instructors and accredited facilities at www.CHAInstructors.com.

Demonstrate Professionalism – It is another way for a business to show that it is professionally run. One of the main reasons CHA Site Accreditation is offered is to educate facility owners and program operators on how to manage key areas of their programs, especially in the areas of safety. For a facility to be accredited, it must have written policies that meet standards set forth in the manual. These policies allows program management to develop its program how it wants to operate, maintains consistency, assists with training staff, clarifies the responsibilities of the staff, and encourages safety and good business practices.

CHA believes that facilities and individuals striving to follow the standards set forth in the manual promote a safer environment for equine activities. Even if your equine program is already striving and meeting the safety standards set forth in the Standards for Equestrian Programs manual, you may think, why do I need to become accredited? Let me ask you, why not? CHA Accreditation is like earning the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

For more information on what is required for accreditation, how the process works, or to apply, please visit the Site Accreditation section of the CHA website.

CHA Site Accreditation

To purchase the CHA Standards for Equestrian Programs manual, please visit the CHA Store Online or call 859-259-3399.

Why Becoming Accredited is Important for Equestrian Programs and Facilities

* Please Note: If a camp or a program for riders with disabilities is not CHA Accredited, it may hold an accreditation through the American Camp Association (ACA) or the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. While these programs are different from CHA Accreditation, they do provide similar benefits. In addition, a facility with accreditation status from ACA or PATH can also apply for CHA Site Accreditation if they so choose.

Information not to Include:

For a CHA Business/Program Member to earn their Site Accreditation, they must be a member in good standing, fill out the application for Site Accreditation, and then pay their CHA Site Accreditation fees and the travel expenses for two CHA Site Visitors to come to the facility for a visit, which is usually during business hours. In addition, the business must create a self-assessment notebook using the Standards for Equestrian Programs manual. Any concerns should be addresses, staff and volunteers should receive additional training if necessary, and this should also be documented. In addition, any maintenance or upgrades should be completed before the site inspection. It is time to put your best foot, and hooves, forward.

During the site inspection, a member of management usually gives a tour of the facility to the Site Visitors and be the person of contact throughout the day. Then the Site Visitors will start verification of each standard, making notes along the way. They do not determine accreditation status. This is done after the Site Visitors send in all their information and notes by the CHA Program Director, who is an official CHA staff member. The site is scored, and if it meets all the requirements, then staff will receive the accreditation certificate, a CHA Accredited Site outdoor sign, and other accreditation materials. The facility must continue compliance with the standards and submit written documentation every year and also inform CHA of any major changes to the facility.

If the site is denied, management can re-apply after six months, or if necessary, an appeal can be made to the CHA Grievance Committee.

2014 CHA International Conference Speakers

Patricia Bona, D.C.

Dr. Bona received her post-graduate Doctor of Chiropractic in 1987 From Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, MO. Along with her office in Blue Bell, PA for humans, Dr. Pat has been certified in animal chiropractic by American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) since 1994. She is an avid equestrian and horse owner who started in 4-H. Her focus has always been on good posture which must start from the feet up to efficiently thrive under unyielding force of gravity; a basic yet powerful concept. As a result of Doctor Bona’s focus, she developed the Cross Fiber grooming technique in 1997 (Posture Prep Cross Fiber Grooming). A technique of daily grooming that empowers the horse owner as they help to improve the horse’s posture, performance and well-being, with a pre-ride evaluation and massage as they groom. All the while learning that “Posture is the Language of the Horse.”

Assess and Address the Horse’s Myofascial and Postural Imbalances – KHP Club Lounge – Saturday at 3 p.m.

For the past few years Dr. Bona has been seriously focusing on the evaluation of aberrant posture and biomechanics due to scars/scar tissue. Dents, dings, white hairs, areas of hair loss are areas of “healed” injuries with significant restriction that need to be released. All too often they are completely overlooked or thought of as a blemish. This lecture provides profound observations and tools for the novice horse owner to the performance veterinarian.

Shellie Carmoney

Shellie relocated to central Iowa in March of 2014 after she accepted the position of Equestrian Program Specialist at the Jester Park Equestrian Center in Granger. While much of her time is spent designing programs, organizing events and the professional development of instructors, staff and volunteers, Shellie also balances her time in the busy program. She facilitates the At-Risk Youth program, oversees the Department of Corrections stable hands, develops program and therapy horses and teaches multiple levels of students in the able body and therapeutic horsemanship programs. Her philosophy is teaching the “total horse” regardless of the discipline, ability or background of her students. Shellie lives in Johnston, Iowa with her sister, their crazy Maltise dog and her horse, Aragorn.

Riding Instructor Challenge – Covered Arena – Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Come and watch while CHA Instructors battle it out to see who can teach a brand new rider the best! It is like the Mustang Make Over and other challenges that you see at Expos except with a CHA flair! May the Best Instructor Win!

Patti Colbert

Patti is a “hands-on” promoter for the horse industry. Experience in both private and non-profit equine business led Patti to a position as the Senior Director of the American Quarter Horse Association’s Foundation where she served until 2004. In 2006 Patti’s company began a management arrangement with the Mustang Heritage Foundation, funded in part through Bureau of Land Management grants. Colbert created and launched the Extreme Mustang Makeover events and other Mustang training programs which led to the adoption of more than 5,000 wild horses. Patti currently works with the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, representing major equine breed, discipline and corporate organizations. Patti helped to create “Time to Ride” events and programs including the national “100 Day Horse Challenge” designed to provide incentives for stables, businesses and organizations to host events that connect newcomers to horses.

Keynote – Saturday 7 p.m. – Awards Banquet – Marriott Griffin Gate

Generational Differences and How They Can Affect Your Riding Program

Bob Coleman Ph. D., PAS, Dip.ACAN

Dr. Coleman grew up in western Canada and has had a lifelong interest in horses. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with a major in Animal Sciences and a Master’s of Science degree. After graduating, Coleman worked in the Canadian Feed Industry as a nutritionist for two major feed companies. In 1980, he moved to Alberta, Canada to be the Extension Horse Specialist for Alberta Agriculture. During his time in Alberta, he completed his Ph.D. with a focus in Equine Nutrition. Dr. Coleman then moved to the University of Kentucky as the Equine Extension Specialist. In addition to his Extension duties, Dr. Coleman teaches in the Equine Science and Management program and serves as the program’s Director of Undergraduate Studies. Dr. Coleman is a member of the AQHF research committee and is the current president of the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association. Professionally, Dr. Coleman is a member of the Equine Science Society where he serves as the executive director, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and the American Society of Animal Scientists as well as a board member for CHA.

Feed Costs – KHP Club Lounge – Friday at 3 p.m.

When managing any group of horses trying to control feed costs is always something that owners struggle with. When prices are low, and who can remember when that was, it is not such an issue but with the way hay and grain prices bounce around having some ideas on how to manage feeding programs to help control costs is always something worth talking about. It is not just about controlling feed intakes, but making sure the feeding programs for your horses meet their needs and do not break the bank. This presentation will discuss some ideas on maintaining costs while making sure your horses are receiving the feed they need. Krishona Martinson, PhD from the University of Minnesota, was also an author for this presentation.

Managing Your Horse’s Weight – KHP Club Lounge – Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

For many horse owners knowing how much their horses weigh can be a great help in managing their feeding programs and administering medications. While some use an old equation that used heart girth and body length there is a newer equation that includes a few more measurements but may give a better indication of how much the horse weighs. In addition you can use some of the measurements to determine what your horse’s ideal weight should be. All in all horse owners can get an estimate of how much the horse weighs, what it should weigh and how are you doing. This all comes in an app for your smart phone. This presentation will look at is your horse fat? Well there is an app for that.

Kathy Findley

Kathy is a licensed judge for numerous national level judging cards. She has officiated at regional and national level breed shows. Kathy’s amateur and youth clients have achieved regional and national championships in numerous divisions including Halter, Showmanship, Equitation, Horsemanship, Hunter under Saddle, Western Pleasure, Trail, Sport Horse in Hand and Dressage. Serving as the chair of the WSHC (WI State Horse Council) Judges Committee, she has been instrumental in improving the Judging Standards. Kathy implemented the WSHC Judges – Evaluation Form and introduced the WSHC “Judge of the Year” Program. Ms. Findley is the author of WI’s First Judging & Showing Guidelines. She is a regular columnist for WI Judges Quarterly Update and has written numerous articles for other equestrian publications, including “Horse Sense”.

Here Comes the Judge! – KHP Club Lounge – Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Do you have what it takes to be a successful judge? What goes on in the mind of a horse show judge? Judging horse shows is much harder work than you might think. There are some very definite skills required. It is the judge’s opinion that sets our goals for the future. Join Kathy and learn what it takes to become a judge and what to expect.

Judging Hands On – Covered Arena Annex – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Have you ever wanted to be a “Judge” at a horse show? Join us ring side and you can participate in judging a class. We will score, evaluate and review the class and placings. You will need paper and a pen.

Tammi Gainer

Having grown up around horses, Tammi began her professional equine career in 1989 as a trail guide at a large ranch camp where she was first exposed to the world of equestrian vaulting and attended her first CHA Standard Instructor Certification Clinic. In the spring of 1995 Tammi joined the instructor staff at Pegasus Farm. While working at the Farm part-time and home schooling her three children, Tammi also spent much time working under several trainers in both reining and dressage and achieved PATH Intl. instructor certification. In 2000, she achieved CHA Master Level Instructor and clinic staff status and has since earned Clinic Instructor status in the Instructors of Riders with Disabilities (IRD) and Vaulting Coach programs as well. Since 1998 Tammi has been the head coach of the Pegasus Vaulting Club; an eighteen member recreational team that performs demonstrations and workshops at various venues throughout Ohio. In 2005 Tammi was promoted to Equestrian Director where she now manages all aspects of the equestrian program. Most recently Tammi has achieved Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning certification through PATH Intl and AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) Professional Horseman. In September 2007 Tammi was elected to the CHA Board of Directors and asked to chair the Education & Training Committee & in 2011 was asked to take on the position of Board Secretary. Tammi is the 2011 CHA Volunteer of the Year.

Teaching Tips for Working with Riders with Autism, ADD and ADHD – Marriott Hotel – Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

There are many recognized instructional methods used by schools that can be translated into the riding arena. This workshop will look at those methods of learning and discuss in detail how they can be used to teach horsemanship to students with Autism, ADD, & ADHD.

Vaulting Exercises – Covered Annex Arena – Friday at 9 a.m.

This workshop is for anyone interested in the sport of vaulting from the very beginning to competition. This workshop will be bringing to the “barrel” how vaulting can be incorporated into a wide variety of programs. We will be covering topics such as equipment needs & use, training the vaulting horse, & the vaulting student. This will be a hands-on workshop so come in your tennis shoes & stretchy pants!

Maureen Gallatin

Maureen is best known for providing practical and spiritual encouragement to horse lovers, equipping them to make a difference through a connection with horses. Her unique brand of wisdom, humor and horsemanship is inspirational, and her warmth puts people at ease. She’s the founder of Inspired by Horses, an equestrian-focused Christian leadership, consulting, and inspirational publishing project, and of Amazing Women Inspired by Horses, which celebrates horsewomen and the many ways they are making a difference in the world. Maureen is founder of the International Center for Equestrian Ministry and author of the devotional called, “An Extra Flake.” She divides her time between Lexington, KY and Tryon, NC.

Teaching from a Faith-Based Perspective without Being Preachy – Marriott Hotel Roundtable talk – Thursday at 2 p.m.

Lisa Harris

After graduating from Auburn University with a BS in Animal Science, Lisa received two degrees from the University of Kentucky: an MS in Vet Science, specializing in Equine Biomechanics and an MS in Physical Therapy. She has published an article on Equine Biomechanics in the Journal of Veterinary Science, and has presented in the US and Canada material from her MS Thesis. Lisa and her colleagues presented their MS PT Research Project comparing a human walking to sitting on a horse at the walk at the Ninth International Therapeutic Riding Congress in Denver in 1997. She currently practices physical therapy in an outpatient, private practice setting in Georgetown, Kentucky.  She is a Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist and a PATH, Intl Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Lisa initiated and coordinates the PATH, Intl accredited hippotherapy program at Central Kentucky Riding for Hope which is partnered with Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. She teaches a hippotherapy lab each year at the University of Kentucky. Lisa is a graduate ‘A’ pony clubber. She has Evented through the Intermediate Two Star Level and has coached young riders through Preliminary Level.  Lisa is currently on the AHA, Inc. Board of Directors and holds the position of Education Chair.   She served on the AHA Board of Directors in the past holding 7 roles as the Research Chair and the editor of HIPPOTHERAPY magazine.

American Hippotherapy Association (EAAT) Marriott Hotel Roundtable Talk – Thursday at 2 p.m.

KC Henry

KC Henry co-founded two therapeutic centers and also worked at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center where she was the first paid staff member of what was then a small all-volunteer program. During her 14 years at Fieldstone she moved from instructor to program director to Executive Director and under her leadership Fieldstone Farm completed a $4.5 million dollar campaign, built a state-of-the-art therapeutic riding facility, and developed a staff of 31 people that served 200 students with disabilities weekly. In 2006 she received the James Brady professional achievement award from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl). She is now owner/principal at Transitions Unlimited, a 12 year old, rapidly growing consulting firm for nonprofit businesses. KC works with a large variety of nonprofit programs both nationally and internationally (including Turkey and South Africa). She specializes in project development, board development, strategic planning and start-up programs. One of her primary clients is the Horses and Humans Research Foundation – research focused on equine assisted activities.  KC is contracted as the foundation’s executive director.

What Science is Telling Us about Horses Impact on Humans – Club Lounge – Saturday at 9 a.m.

The Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF) has been funding scientific investigation on the impact of horses on humans for 8 years now – the results of these studies are remarkable. The findings are showing us in scientific terms why, as Winston Churchill said, “Something about the outside of the horse is good for the inside of man.” HHRF has now funded scientific studies that measure the chemical changes of saliva when children who are abused or neglected participate in equine assisted activities. Why is that important? Not only could an increase in oxytocin, “the bonding hormone,” result in a feeling a wellbeing – it may coincide with relationship building to encourage children with attachment disorders to bond with their foster or adoptive care takers! Ability to bond changes lives. How about veterans with Post Traumatic Stress or Traumatic Brain Injuries? Anecdotal evidence is informing facilitators at more than 400 programs around the country that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptomatology decreases after participation in these programs. Now we are scientifically measuring participant’s experience of PTSD symptoms as well the intervention’s impact on coping skills, emotional regulation and social engagement. The world will soon know what Winston Churchill and horse lovers have always known. The scientific validation of the positive impact of horses on humans may change everything.

Teresa Kackert

Teresa has been CHA Clinic Instructor since 2003. She is also Chris Irwin Natural Horsemanship Certified and a Richard Shrake Resistance Free Riding Master Level Trainer/Instructor. Teresa is the creator of the ‘Soft Touch’ Training Program – Classical Equitation & Natural Horsemanship and has over 20 years professional experience as a rider, competitor, trainer, instructor, clinician and personal coach. She is founder of Great Horses of America, Consignment Horse Sales Company and Co-Founder of Pink Heart Pony Kids, Inc. Teresa specializes in: confidence building in both horse and rider, horse behavior modification, motivational personal coaching and skill enhancement for riders & horses of all levels and disciplines. www.GreatHorses.org.

Jumping Exercises – Covered Arena – Saturday at 9 a.m.

This jumping session will encompass the different seats such as the full seat and 2-point. The next step will involve an explanation of each seat and the reason for a change of seat at the walk, trot and canter. Ground poles will follow which will prepare the riders to ride the lines to and from the jumps thru poles in the trot and canter. The x-rails will be introduced demonstrating trotting using the 2-point to jump when starting out and then using a full seat while riding the canter. The next steps will be the verticals and negotiating the start of a course.

How to Teach Many Riders of Different Levels the Same Exercise at the Same Time – Covered Arena – Friday at 1:30 p.m.

This session will show instructors how to teach a solid group lesson even if you have a variety of levels within one class. Specific exercises will be discussed so that you can go back to your barn and use them!

Riding Instructor Challenge – Covered Arena – Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Come and watch while CHA Instructors battle it out to see who can teach a brand new rider the best! It is like the Mustang Make Over and other challenges that you see at Expos except with a CHA flair! May the Best Instructor Win!

Roxanne Lawrence

Roxanne is the current Executive Director of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and she is an initial founding member of that association. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, her equestrian experience started in the world of hunt seat riding. She spent several years as a trainer and instructor, and ultimately moved into horse show management with positions at The National Horse Show (Madison Square Garden), WEF, HITS, Capitol Challenge, 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and many other notable events around the country. She is currently on the American Youth Horse Council Board of Directors. She went on to manage the Andrews School Equestrian Center for 10 years in the Cleveland, Ohio area where she currently resides.

How Can my Equine Business Get Involved with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association – Marriott Hotel Roundtable talk – Thursday at 2 p.m.

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association was founded in 2002. Just 10 years later, it boasts over 8,000 members who participate in two primary disciplines of Hunt Seat Equitation and Western Horsemanship/Reining. With its draw-based format, the IEA offers competitive opportunities to riders in grades 6-12 that may not own a horse, and it offers significant opportunities for growing your business and attracting new clientele to your lesson program. What are the benefits to your business and your clients?  How do you get involved? Come to this session to learn all about the Interscholastic Equestrian Association.

Amanda Love

Amanda is the Horsemanship Director at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. She is the coach of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Team there and also teaches numerous classes. Amanda is currently on the CHA Board of Directors and is an active rider and does cross fit.

What is the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and How Can I Get Involved? – Marriott Hotel Roundtable Talk – Thursday at 2 p.m.

IHSA provides collegiate riders of all skills the opportunity to compete individually and as teams in equestrian competition. It was founded on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of his or her riding ability or financial status.

Simple Changes of Lead – Covered Arena – Friday at 3 p.m.

Come and learn how to get good lead changes with your students by doing these simple lead change exercises. Exercises that you can take home and start doing with your students right away will be explained.

Riding Instructor Challenge – Covered Arena – Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Come and watch while CHA Instructors battle it out to see who can teach a brand new rider the best! It is like the Mustang Make Over and other challenges that you see at Expos except with a CHA flair! May the Best Instructor Win!

Jim McDonald

Jim is a lifelong horseman and a lifelong learner. In the year 2000, he started a non-profit organization dedicated to horsemanship education. Part of its mission is to make the joy of a relationship with a horse available to people who would not ordinarily have that opportunity and that was the original motivation for founding the Graham Equestrian center (www.Grahameq.org). They work closely with anyone who wants to advance their horsemanship skills and knowledge. Jim is currently the CHA Board Treasurer and an AQHA Professional Horseman.

Horse Training – What Every Horse Owner Should Know – Covered Arena Annex – Saturday at 9 a.m.

Understanding the principle of operant and instrumental conditioning as it applies to our interaction with the horse will greatly enhance the relationship we have with the horse. Understanding the popular phrases like, “Make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy”, and “reward the least little try” with an understanding of the scientific principles of behavior modification that will improve our understanding of how the horse learns. Your patience will expand which will lead to greater safety, effectiveness, and fun with our horses.

Jim McGarvey

Jim McGarvey is chairman of the 14,000 member Back Country Horsemen of America. The Back Country Horsemen, with chapters in 29 states are dedicated to “Keeping the Trails Open for All” on America’s public lands. Previously, Jim was cofounder and CEO of BenchMark Consulting International. His firm specialized in identifying and implementing world class best practices bank operations to major financial institutions on six continents. At age 28, Jim was instrumental in founding and being the Executive Director of Auction America Corporation. Auction America, one of whose important shareholders was Russ Jackson, is now part of the historical development of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions as seen on the Speed Channel. Jim graduated from Wright State University with a degree in Political Science.

About Back Country Horsemen of America – Marriott Hotel Round Table Talk – Thursday at 2 p.m.

Over 40 years ago, around a campfire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Northern Montana, the idea of the Back Country Horsemen of America was formed. That idea, then and now, is to keep the trails open for horses and mules and hikers – essentially, to keep the trails open for everyone. The BCHA accomplishes this thru boots and hooves on the ground: Trail Work, Education and Advocacy. The BCHA has nearly 14,000 members in 176 chapters across 29 states. In 2013, Back Country Horsemen volunteered over 372,000 hours of work devoted to keeping the trails open in our national forests, national parks and state lands.  BCHA members conduct numerous packing and Leave No Trace clinics each year. The BCHA works with other outdoors organization such as The Wilderness Society to advocate with public lands managers and legislators to keep our trails open – for you.

Jill Montgomery

Jill Montgomery is a CHA certified English and Western Riding Instructor, and Equine Facility Manager. She owns and operates the Arroyo Ranch in Pueblo West, CO and is the CEO of JRAM Enterprises, Inc. an Equine Consulting Business. Working in the horse industry for more than 30 years, her experience spans activities as diverse as managing the U.S. Army’s Dude Ranch to serving as Executive Director for the American Youth Horse Council. A published author and equine welfare advocate, Montgomery works to keep equine activities accessible and enjoyable in America.

Expert Witnessing; A Look Inside the Courtroom – Marriott Hotel – Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

The last place most riding instructors would want to appear is a courtroom to testify about how an equine activity led to an accident. Your reason for being involved in a civil liability suit and how you feel about participating in it would vary greatly if you were the defendant, the plaintiff, or an expert witness being paid for your testimony and expert opinions. This session will focus on the role of expert witnesses and help participants understand how the people without law degrees in the courtroom contribute to the judge and jury’s decisions. This topic is important because the outcomes of these courts cases influence, for better and for worse, everyone’s accessibility and enjoyment of equine activities.

Darley Newman

Charismatic TV host and horsewoman Darley Newman travels the globe hosting and producing the Emmy-winning TV series “Equitrekking,” which takes viewers on active horseback riding adventures with local people and is broadcast on PBS and international networks in over 84 countries. She also hosts travel series on AOL, Scripps Networks’ ulive and is a contributing editor for Budget Travel magazine. With Equitrekking Darley combines her passion for horses and travel with her background in television production. Darley has worked with 48 Hours, CBS, FRONTLINE, has hosted Equitrekking segments on the Starz Networks Encore Channel, Ralph Lauren TV and reporting live news from the White House and Capitol Hill. Recently, Darley has led film crews on national and international shoots, riding with cowboys in the Canadian Rockies, interviewing HRH Princess Alia at the Royal Stables in Jordan, trekking through the world’s largest inland delta in Africa and beyond–– all to help educate and excite her dedicated fans. Darley has been honored with five Daytime Emmy Award nominations, alongside media moguls Ellen DeGeneres, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, received the North American Travel Journalist Award two years in a row and been honored with the Inspiring Woman Award from Women in Philanthropy and Leadership. An entrepreneur and published author, Darley created and oversees a variety of websites with resources for travelers interested in horseback riding around the world, including Equitrekking.com, EquitrekkingTravel.com and Top20Ranches.com.

Keynote – Equitrekking – Marriott Hotel – Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Love exploring a new place on horseback? Join equestrian travel expert Darley Newman, host of the Emmy-winning PBS TV series “Equitrekking,” for a video countdown of the top destinations you’ve got to add to your bucket list. Watch stunning behind the scenes video from global travels, as Darley tells you the best places to saddle up for all riding styles and levels, including helpful tips on how to make your dream trip come true. With personal stories of harrowing adventures from horseback riding in iconic US and international locations, including the desert in Jordan, rainforests and beaches in Costa Rica, national parks in the USA, volcanoes in Hawaii and beyond, you won’t want to miss this educational and exciting keynote.

National Reining Horse Association

What horseman doesn’t love to see a smooth stopping horse that can spin on a dime and rollback in his tracks after the slightest of cues? The National Reining Horse Association promotes the sport of Reining and these athletic and maneuverable athletes. From training DVDs and entry-level classes to local shows and the NRHA Professionals program, NRHA can improve your day in the saddle – whether you’re in the show pen or on the trail. Visit www.nrha.com to find out how you can have the slide of your life in the sport of Reining.

Ride a Reiner – Covered Arena – Saturday at Noon

First offered in 2010 at the Alltech© FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., “NRHA Ride a Reiner” has taken the country by storm by giving novice and experienced riders the opportunity to ride a reining horse. Nowhere else in the world can spectators find an option like this: the chance to receive a hands-on lesson from an NRHA Professional, to enjoy a dizzying spin and to feel the power of sliding stops on a well-trained reining horse!

Sue Robinson

Sue has taught riding for over 40 years, as a volunteer 4-H leader, in the private industry as an instructor at Robinson Farms, as manager, instructor, and trainer at Overcup Oaks Quarter Horses and presently as Coordinator of Riding, Lecturer, and Equestrian Team coach for both Stock Seat and Hunt Seat at Murray State University. Sue is a member of Certified Horsemanship Association, AQHA’s Professional Horseman’s Association, the National Association of Equine Affiliated Academics and advisor of MSU Horseman’s Club. Sue has trained equestrians from local to national competitions.

Building Rider Strength and Fitness Through Exercise – Covered Arena – Friday at 4:30 p.m.

In our society today much attention is being focused on lack of physical fitness, this lack follows through into the horse industry. Although much emphasis is placed on having a horse in condition to perform, for a horse to achieve maximum performance the rider must also be physically fit. When a rider is in top physical condition they will be able to continuously supply the support for the horse to perform at the highest level. This conditioning or fitness can be attained and maintained through a set of exercises designed to work on balance and softness or relaxation of the joints. These must be achieved together as one complements the other when riding. Through predetermined exercises both on and off the horse, a rider, from beginner to advanced, can develop a body awareness or muscle memory that allows them to feel when they are in proper alignment with the horse’s center of gravity and be able to maintain that alignment. Whether you are riding Western or English, the correct body position to achieve balance and remain soft or relaxed through your seat and joints is the same. The body must be aligned; ear, shoulder hip heel. This same alignment is also used in other sports such as martial arts, golf, skiing, skating, or just walking. The set of exercises presented here work on balance and softness of the riders joints, as well as rider strength. These exercises work on the whole body or they can target specific areas where special effort is needed. Even the most timid riders benefit from exercise as they acquire balance and strength, and gain self-confidence as they move around on their horses back in various positions. Like all athletes, riders should warm up to prepare to ride, just as they warm up their horse. The use of an exercise routine, whatever discipline you ride will benefit both horse and rider. The one that will benefit most from a rider that can balance, stay relaxed, and have the endurance to support throughout the ride is the horse. A properly prepared and warmed up horse and rider become a team that can be comfortable on the trail or formidable in the arena.

Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg

Cheryl grew up riding horses and started training professionally at the age of 16. She is now a CHA Master Instructor, CHA Clinic Instructor, CHA Region 10 Director and an AQHA Professional Horseman with over 35 years experience teaching riders and training horses of all levels. At her home, CRK Training Stable, Cheryl boards, trains and teaches riding. Her students range from complete beginners to upper level show riders. You can contact Cheryl at CRK Training Stable at www.crktrainingstable.com

Sideways – Teaching Side Pass and Pivot – Covered Arena Annex – Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Cheryl will be teaching about those ever elusive lateral movements-Side Passing & Pivoting. We will begin on the ground as is appropriate for weanlings or yearlings headed to the in-hand trail classes or any horse that needs a better handle on the ground. Then we will move to under saddle methods for safe, smooth and efficient movements that are helpful on the trail, in the arena or the show pen. Cheryl will also stress the best ways to teach these skills to riders new to the concepts.

Dale Rudin

Dale is certified with the Certified Horsemanship Association as a Western and English instructor. She has been training horses and teaching riders for over 30 years. She developed Unnatural Horsemanship®, a mindful approach to training and horsemanship that focuses on the instincts that drive a horse as a herd and prey animal. Each horse is seen as an individual with a unique personality, inherent abilities, and experiential history. She resolves problems related to behavior or performance by improving the horse’s physical and emotional well-being and enhancing relationship, communication, and understanding between horse and human. In addition to working with horses and their people, Dale shares her techniques and philosophies in articles and columns in Horse Illustrated magazine and on HorseChannel.com. She has also written for Young Rider, Paint Horse Journal, and Horses USA (now Your First Horse). Dale lives in Middle Tennessee and offers private instruction, clinics, and classes, helping all breeds of horses and levels of rider create successful partnerships and collaborative teams.

Riding Instructor Challenge – Covered Arena – Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Come and watch while CHA Instructors battle it out to see who can teach a brand new rider the best! It is like the Mustang Make Over and other challenges that you see at Expos except with a CHA flair! May the Best Instructor Win!

Cindy Rullman

Cindy is a lifelong advocate for animals. She spent several years in the Thoroughbred industry working at Spendthrift Farm, Ashford Stud, and on the backstretch at Keeneland racetrack. Next she moved into the office and worked several years in advertising, public relations, and marketing for equine businesses, before spending six years in fundraising and public relations at the Lexington Humane Society. Later, she worked for eight years in public relations at the Kentucky Horse Park, where she launched the park’s first homeless horse adoption events and free gelding clinics, during which time she received the “Welfare Advocate of the Year” award from the Kentucky Horse Council. Most recently, Cindy joined the 1,000-member global staff of the Brooke – the largest international equine welfare organization in the world – as their only staff member in North America. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Kentucky Equine Humane Center and supports several animal protection organizations.

Juan Valdez Had a Donkey – Enhancing the Standard of Care for the World’s Most Important and Undervalued Worker – KHP Club Lounge – Friday at 9 a.m.

This is our 80th anniversary for the Brooke, so it’s a very big year for us. Last year we reached more than 1.1 million working equines in 11 developing countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt, Jordan, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Senegal).  We provided veterinary care for the animals and a great deal of training for their owners in better animal husbandry practices.  These people and their animals are the poorest of the poor, so everything that we teach and do is sustainable in these poverty-stricken countries. The people are utterly dependent upon their animals to provide a meagre living for their families, so as we reduce the suffering of the animals, we are also helping the owners and their families, who will have a healthier, happier animal who can continue to work for them.

Bennie Sargent

A lifelong resident of Georgetown, Kentucky, Bennie began his horse show career as a youth in 4-H and Quarter Horse competitions, graduating to the amateur ranks at the end of his youth eligibility. He soon decided to make horse training his life’s work, turned in his amateur card and set about building his business and his reputation as a professional trainer specializing in all-around horses. Bennie has been a successful trainer for more than 35 years. He has trained and shown horses to seven versatility championships, multiple AQHA championships, and numerous AQHA Honor Roll honors in several events, including halter, reining, working hunter, and trail. He has also guided customers, primarily youth and amateurs, to multiple AQHA, AQHYA, Congress, APHA, IBHA and PHBA championships. Bennie is also very involved in NRHA competition, having been an NRHA member for more than 30 years. Several of his non-pro and youth customers have ranked in the top 10 in the nation. He has had horses place at the Congress in the NRHA events as well as AQHA reining. A national AQHA director for the past twelve years, Bennie is active on the Professional Horsemen’s Committee. He is on the AQHA Show Council and the Drug and Tail Task Force. He has served on the World Show Task Force Committee and the Long Range Strategic Planning Committee for AQHA shows. In addition to being an AQHA judge for 17 years, Bennie holds cards in APHA, PHBA, IBHA and NSBA. Bennie, his wife Cheryllee and their daughter Sydney live in Paris, KY in the heart of Bluegrass Country. Sargent Quarter Horses has 40 stalls as well as indoor and outdoor arenas.

Riding Squares Instead of Circles – Covered Arena – Friday at 10:30 a.m.

We are often taught to ride circles, but what about squares? Great take home exercises for your students at all levels to be successful riding squares instead or as well as circles and becoming better horsemen by doing so.

Jochen Schleese

Jochen documented over 34 years of his experience as German Certified Master Saddler and Saddle Ergonomist in his books ‘Suffering in Silence – The Saddle Fit Link to Physical and Psychological trauma in Horses’ (2013), ‘The Silent Killer’ (2012) and DVD ’Beyond the 9 Points of Saddle Fit’.

Is your Horse Suffering in Silence? – Detailed Look at Saddle Fit – Covered Arena Annex – Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

Common serious effects of ill-fitting saddles include: chipped shoulder cartilage, sore back, behavioral issues, pain and lameness. Jochen shares insights and solutions to achieve optimal saddle fit.

Rider Issues and the Gender of Saddle Fit – Covered Arena – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Are you struggling with an ill-fitting saddle? Sore back, hips, knees, pelvic discomfort, feeling ‘pulled apart’, chair seat, struggling to maintain position, fighting the saddle, feeling ‘behind’ or ‘in front of’ the motion? Jochen explains these issues and shares solutions for the differing anatomy of women and men.

Tom Schell, D.V.M, CVCH

Tom is a private practicing equine veterinarian in North Carolina for the past 20 years, focusing currently on consultations regarding the impact and use of herbs and nutrition in managing chronic disorders in the horse. In 2006, Dr. Schell started Nouvelle Research, Inc., a private research organization dedicated to investigating the impact of chronic inflammation, immune dysfunction and the use of targeted herbs in the management of many chronic conditions in horses, pets and people. Out of this research, the Cur-OST line of all natural anti-inflammatory supplements was created, being put in use in horses worldwide for the past 8 years with tremendous success. In 2014, Dr. Schell started the Handi-Capp Equine Rehabilitation & Relocation program, putting to use the research he has gathered as well as Cur-OST product formulations to aid in the recovery of injured TB’s coming off of the racetrack with the goal of restoring soundness and enhancing the chances of relocation to a new home.

Chronic Inflammation and the Horse; Laminitis and Insulin Resistance – KHP Club Lounge – Friday at 4:30 p.m.

This lecture will help make connections with many current disease and lameness conditions in equines. Given our research over the past 8 years, we feel we have made huge strides in helping many horses to recovery from conditions once thought to be career ending or cost prohibitive for the owners to manage.

Mary Ann Simonds

Mary Ann has integrated her academic degrees in equine and human behavioral psychology and ecology with her equestrian background, working professionally for over 35 years in the horse industry. She grew up in California showing jumpers, and then attended the University of California and University of Wyoming to study the social ecology, behavior, and biology of wild horses. Realizing the need for higher education in our horse industry, Mary Ann founded the Whole Horses & Equestrian Science Institute in 1985 while brokering Sport Horses to bring more science of horses as a species into the horse world. Later, she received her master’s degree studying the interactions and relationships of horses and people helping to define the fields of Interspecies and Equestrian Psychology. She serves as scientific advisor for several equine non-profits and was an appointed member of the 1990 Federal Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. With one foot in the world of science and the other in the world of horses, Mary Ann acts a bridge and often is referred to as the “missing piece” for horsemen. She has developed a line of stress management and therapeutic products for horses including conducting research on magnetic field therapy and vibrational medicine in the late 1980s. A speaker, author, producer, equestrian, clinician, coach and horse lover, Mary Ann is passionate about educating others to better understand the real nature and culture of horses in an effort to limit stress in horses, ultimately improving performance and cooperation.

Equine Sports Coaching Skills – Covered Arena Annex – Friday at 3 p.m.

Presents an overview of the basic psychology with a little neural biology of horse and rider, and how to achieve better communication and deep connections. Exercises include body/mind techniques integrating such modalities as NLP, cognitive skills, brain waves shifts, visualizations, energy management breathing and heart coherence. The importance of thought and energy management of riders is stressed with respect to their relationship with their horse, and communication to bring about a positive relationship for various disciplines.

Ward Stutz

Ward is the current CHA President and the Senior Director of Breed Integrity for the American Quarter Horse Association. He is responsible for AQHA’s animal welfare initiatives, which include the steward program to ensure all animals at AQHA events are treated humanely and exhibitors are practicing sportsmanlike conduct. In addition, he assists with AQHA’s public policy initiatives. He is the staff liaison to AQHA’s Professional Horsemen’s Council. Ward received his B.S. degree from Colorado State University in agriculture industries management and a M.S. from Oklahoma State University in animal science. His horse industry experience includes: training, judging, showing, racing, packing and teaching. Ward has been involved with many industry associations including: American Horse Council, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Animal Welfare Council and serving as Past President of the American Youth Horse Council.

Welcoming Keynote Address – Marriott Hotel – Thursday at 1 p.m.

Mitzi Summers

Mitzi has been devoted to the welfare and safety of horses and their people for most of her life. The recipient of the CHA Instructor of the Year Award, Mitzi is also one of less than thirty Level IV Centered Riding Instructors in the world. Through her achievement of CHA Master Instructor and Clinician, and a Centered Riding Clinician, Mitzi has certified or updated hundreds of instructors so far in her career. She has taught and trained in many countries, including South Africa, New Zealand, and throughout Europe. Mitzi specializes in working in a very individualized basis with riders and their horses, teaching them to train their own horses in a non-abusive way. She is truly multi-talented, working with a rider in Ireland short-listed for the Olympics, to a rider who has fear issues and is afraid to trot. Horses who have been confused or traumatized are her specialty. Three of her mentors were Charles Grant, Vi Hopkins, and Sally Swift, all recipients of the USDF Hall of Fame Award. Mitzi will be interested in helping you and your horse no matter what level or discipline, she truly “Teaches the Beauty of Horses”.

Semi Private Centered Riding Lessons – Covered Arena – Friday at 9 a.m.

Come and ride with Mitzi for only $55 with one other person and get some specialized attention in Centered Riding.

Long Lining and Double Lunging – Covered Arena Annex – Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Ground work with horses can be invaluable in the process of either preparing a young horse to be ridden, or in further developing suppleness and strength in an older horse. Mitzi will go through the step by step process involved in teaching a horse these skills so the horse remains calm and accepts the training without fear or stress. Ground work skills for a horse can be invaluable, but are frequently used incorrectly or misunderstood. There will be an opportunity for hands-on practice for some observers.

Western Dressage Defined – Covered Arena Annex – Saturday at 3 p.m.

Western dressage is rapidly becoming more popular for western riders who are looking for an activity that will improve their horses. The true test of schooling your horse should be that you are improving his balance, strength, suppleness, and encouraging a willing and calm disposition. Correct Western Dressage accomplishes this. Mitzi completed The Western Dressage Association of America’s Trainer’s Course this year in North America. The standards demonstrated and discussed were clearly for the benefit of the horse. Riders in this presentation will be assisted with the effectiveness of their equitation and aids to correctly develop the athleticism of their horses.

Jody Taylor

Jody rode his first horse at about 4 years old and then learned to rope before 10 and was entering some local shows and rodeos in Texas. Jody was involved in Texas High School Rodeo Association, roping and riding rough stock. His first job was at a stable just a couple of miles down the road named Cedarwood Farm. There he learned the daily activities and duties of a boarding stable, lesson program and the operation of a Horse Trial. Then he was employed at a large Arabian facility known as Bentwood Farms and rode with John Burris, out of Stephenville, Texas training horses. In his mid-thirties he started focusing more on horses and completed his rodeo career. Jody and his wife, Kim a trainer as well, purchased a horse property, Star T Ranch. Starting out they ran a cow/calf herd, horse boarding, riding lessons, training, and equine transportation facility. Eventually they narrowed this down and focused on just horse boarding, riding lessons, training and equine transportation. They provide English and Western riding lessons, specializing in Eventing, including Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country. They incorporate natural horsemanship into Eventing and Hunter Jumpers and are members of CHA, USEA, AreaV-Eventing, NTEA, NTHJC and AQHA. Kim and Jody are both certified instructors and care for 35 horses and have 50 students. Visit www.StarTRanchtx.net.

Jumping Exercises – Covered Arena – Saturday at 9 a.m.

This jumping session will encompass the different seats such as the full seat and 2-point. The next step will involve an explanation of each seat and the reason for a change of seat at the walk, trot and canter. Ground poles will follow which will prepare the riders to ride the lines to and from the jumps thru poles in the trot and canter. The x-rails will be introduced demonstrating trotting using the 2-point to jump when starting out and then using a full seat while riding the canter. The next steps will be the verticals and negotiating the start of a course.

Flying Lead Changes – Covered Arena – Saturday at 3 p.m.

This session will start going through and giving examples of all the steps that it takes to enable a horse and rider to accomplish lead changes. It will also include realistic time lines depending on the horse. It will show examples of simple lead changes and move into flying lead changes and discuss young and more refined horses. A demonstration on the process will be given starting with the steps going all the way to Tempe changes.

Mitchell L. Taylor, CJF, DipWCF

Mitch began his farrier training in 1975 and has been an AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier since 1982. Mitch has served as the President of the Registry of Professional Farrier Educators, as a member of the AFA Equine Research Committee, served on the AFA Board of Directors and served as Chairman of the AFA Education Committee. He also serves on the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit Shoeing and Hoof Care Committee. With a BS in Biology and Chemistry, Mitch did his post graduate work in Equine Physiology at the University of Kentucky. Currently, Mitch is the director of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Richmond, KY where he continues to pursue his interest in equine research by continually investigating equine anatomy and biomechanics and how that is affected through various shoeing modalities. Mitch has twice been awarded the AFA’s Educator of the Year award and is proud to count his many successful students Mitch is proud to count 6 members of the AFA US National Horseshoeing Team as well as students who have earned positions with various US equine teams, leading veterinary hospitals, university veterinary schools and have even shod Kentucky Derby winners.

Taking Great Care of the Lesson Horse – Marriott Hotel – Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

You will learn in this talk why it is so important to have regular, competent hoof care for your sport horse and the relationship of healthy feet, sound horses and good athletes.

An Overview of Good Hoof Care Including Basic Anatomy – KHP Club Lounge – Friday at 10:30 a.m.

In this talk you will learn the anatomy, dynamics and functions of the horses’ foot. You will learn the characteristics of a healthy foot, and how to identify the difference between healthy feet and those that are not. We will talk about the physiology of normal feet, and the variations of normalcy that we see within a population. You will learn the function of a horse shoe, the correct application and use of them, and how shoes can be helpful, in the right hands, with conformation, gaiting and therapeutic purposes.

Randi Thompson

Randi is the founder of the “Horse and Rider Awareness ® Educational Programs” and ”How to Market Your Horse Business.”   She has been in the horse industry for over 3 decades and has been coaching professionals for 20+ years in horse and rider training, business and marketing.  Randi has worked with many breeds of horses and styles of riding in her career and has produced national winners in the worlds of dressage, hunter/jumper, western pleasure, and flat shod walking horses.  Randi has been featured as the keynote speaker at the largest equestrian trade shows in the US and will be presenting at the Mass. Equine Affaire this year.  Randi is also a horse industry legal consultant and expert witness.

What Does It Really Mean to Ride From Your Seat and Legs? – Covered Arena Annex – Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Everyone talks about riding from your seat and legs, but what does that really mean?  Now you can watch what happens as Randi takes riders through a process that shows them how to feel when a horse is “under their seat” and moving from their legs.  This session includes keeping a horse straight, turns on the forehand, leg yielding and more.  Would you like to have more advanced techniques that you can use in your riding or with your students?  If so, this is a session that you will want to see.

United States Polo Association

Originally known as The Polo Association, the USPA was created in 1890 to govern polo handicaps, rules, and tournaments in America and Canada. Constantly growing and obtaining more members, the USPA has a multitude of programs designed to help American polo players improve their skills and compete in the “Game of Kings.”

Polo Demonstration and Lessons – Covered Arena – Friday at Noon

Come and learn more about the sport of polo and how to incorporate some of the exercises into your current riding program. Then hop on and play a mock game of polo!

United States Polo Association – Round Table Talk – Marriott Hotel – Thursday at 2 p.m.

Nathan Voris, DVM, MBA

Dr. Voris serves as a senior veterinarian on the Zoetis equine technical services team. Dr. Voris graduated from the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine and completed an internship at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Prior to joining Zoetis he was an equine veterinarian for 10 years in central Missouri.

While in practice, Dr. Voris earned his Master of Business Administration degree from William Woods University which equipped him to expand his role in practice. As a result, Dr. Voris drove the practice’s marketing and client education initiatives by utilizing technology to enhance practice productivity and client communications with primary focus on integrating the clinic’s website with multiple social networking platforms. Dr. Voris understands the demands of busy equine professionals and has balanced the management responsibilities of business communications and social media while performing veterinary duties in a progressive, equine clinical practice. His experiences have enabled him to assist equine veterinarians, small business owners and horsemen from across the country with practical strategies to develop and share content and tools to make the process of feeding the social media beast less burdensome.

Social Media Defined for the Horse Industry – KHP Club Lounge – Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

You’re an expert at guiding your students and horses to the best that they can be. Sometimes, it’s a daunting task to work ‘on’ your business instead of just ‘in’ it, from a time standpoint since you’re busy teaching! Gain time tested and proven methods that help you develop your strategy to answer key questions about why clients should work with you and define your competitive advantage that reaches your specific target audience. Strategic Marketing Planning helps you focus your efforts on the right clients. Using Social Media effectively and providing the most efficient way is part of that plan. Get the right tools so your potential new clients hear your value message and recall the information. Solidify your existing clients so they recommend you. It is important that you are communicating to the right people, at the right time. You’ll come away with defining your competitive advantage, how to target client segments and how to save time and money using social media in a way that speaks to your strengths and engage your clients while building your own raving fan club.

Jan Weber

Jan currently co-owns and manages EVADI Farm, a 100 acre boarding facility with 30 stalls in Paris, KY.  She was the Deputy Competition Director for Vaulting at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY and an invited member of the CHIO Aachen Vaulting Show Office team in 2013 and the European Vaulting Championships in 2015.  She has served as a board member representing vaulting for the United States Equestrian Federation, the United States Equestrian Team, the American Youth Horse Council and the American Vaulting Association.  She was a member of the original joint CHA/AVA Certification Committee in 2004.  Her love of vaulting began in 1992 and she has focused on developing vaulting as an introductory equestrian sport and helping all equestrians understand the benefits of the sport as a supplemental riding program for existing programing.

 American Vaulting Association – Marriott Round Table Talk – Thursday at 2 p.m.

Come and find out more about the AVA and how you can get vaulting started in your lesson program.

Mary Anna Wood

Mary Anna works for the Internal Revenue Service and in her free time competes in NATRC rides around the country. Her horse Elmer and she accumulated many miles and awards in NATRC during their career together. Mary Anna is a CHA Clinic Instructor in both Trail and English/Western.

North American Trail Ride Conference – Marriott Hotel Round Table Talk – Thursday at 2 p.m.

The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) provides long distance competitive trail rides for riders of all equine breeds and from all disciplines. It promotes safety, sportsmanship, education and trail horse advocacy through qualified evaluation of horse and rider by veterinary and horsemanship judges, in a fun, responsible environment for the whole family.

Lisa Wysocky

Lisa is a registered level PATH International instructor and also holds certifications as a mentor, and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. In addition, she has been chosen as one of the country’s Top 50 riding instructors by ARIA. With a life balanced between books and horses, Lisa is an author, equine clinician, and motivational speaker who trains horses for and consults with therapeutic riding programs. Lisa graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in equine management, and then brought her ideas on success to the show ring. Early wins on the national Appaloosa horse show circuit took Lisa across North America, where she was asked to speak, or to write articles for national publications. Lisa’s passion for writing and speaking led to a second run at college where she studied communications and journalism. Lisa is the co-author of a number of books, including My Horse, My Partner: Teamwork on the Ground, which helps horse and human partners form amazing bonds using traditional ground training, natural horsemanship, and desensitization. Lisa combines her love of horses and country music in Horse Country: A Celebration of Country Music and the Love of Horses. This beautiful coffee table book features twenty-seven of the top stars of country music talking about how horses changed their life for the better. The publication of the four-time award winning equestrian mystery, The Opium Equation, marked Lisa’s debut fiction effort. The follow up, The Magnum Equation, takes place at an all-breed horse show. Both books were recently optioned for television. Learn more at http://www.lisawysocky.com

American Competitive Trail Horse Association – Marriott Hotel Round Table Talk – Thursday at 2 p.m.

Come and find out more about ACTHA and how you can get involved.

A Riding Lesson from the Horse’s Perspective – Covered Arena – Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

What the horse sees, hears, tastes, and smells during your riding lesson, and how this information impacts your lesson. Lisa brings the audience through a typical riding lesson that incorporates both western trail obstacles and English equipment such as small jumps and cavaletti poles, and explains each step of the lesson from the horse’s point of view. From your body posture and facial expression; to the color, size, and placement of your arena equipment and obstacles; to the rider’s movements, this eye-opening session is a must-see for every instructor.

JoAnne Young

JoAnne has been teaching riding and training horses for over 40 years, and is happy that she is still learning. Every student and every horse bring fresh challenges that keep life interesting. She has been privileged and blessed beyond her wildest dreams to study with such wonderful instructors as Walter Zettl (dressage coach to Canadian event team when they won bronze at Los Angeles Olympics), Bertin Potter in Germany, Molly Sivewright (FEI judge and past chair of the Fellows of the British Horse Society), Carel Eijkenaar (FEI judge), Eddo Hoestra (FEI Trainer) and Doris Halstead (Physical Therapist and author of “Releasing the Potential: Physical Therapy Modalities for Horse and Rider.” Jo-Anne is the author of the M.A. thesis: “Preparing students for riding instructor certification through college curricula.”

 Semi- Private Dressage Lessons – Covered Arena – Friday at 9 a.m.

Ride with JoAnne for only $55 to receive some specialized attention in dressage.

Youth Involvement 101 – Kids & Horses

Kids and horses are a magical combination. Seeing the joy that washes over a child’s face while they ride for the first time is truly inspiring. If you are a parent, grandparent, or other guardian looking for ways for a special young person in your life to get into riding, rest assured that there are plenty of options. Each option has different time and financial commitments, which could also differ based on the local club or group you become involved with within a national organization.

The Certified Horsemanship Association offers options through its members, who are riding instructors, driving instructors, instructors for riders with disabilities, vaulting coaches, trail guides, equestrian facility staff, or camp staff. If you want to try lessons for the child in your life, CHA’s certified experts are a great option. It’s important to understand the credentials of anyone you work with, do thorough research, and make a careful decision because you want to make sure your child gets off to the right start and has a positive and safe experience. In a past blog post, CHA explored why it’s important to find a certified instructor. http://cha-ahse.org/store/blog/why_a_certified_instructor.html.

To look for CHA members in your area that are certified and offering riding opportunities in your area, you can search the free online database at CHA.horse. You can also find CHA Accredited Facilities at that same link. And once you have a list of options in your area, CHA offers more information on how to choose a riding instructor at http://cha-ahse.org/store/blog/choosing_an_instructor.html or you can listen to CHA’s interview of two experts on the subject on this recording of the CHA Segment on Horses in the Morning. http://www.horseradionetwork.com/2016/04/19/hitm-for-04-19-2016-by-cha-choosing-summer-camp-or-lesson-program

In addition to riding lessons, many children have their first experience with horses at a camp or just do a search for all CHA facilities in your area. You can search for a CHA Accredited Facility that is a camp on CHA.horse by typing in “camp” into the search field. To read more about finding a camp with horses, check out the blog posts titled, “Attending a Camp with Horseback Riding” at http://cha-ahse.org/store/blog/horse_camps.html and “How to Find the Best Horse Camp” at http://cha-ahse.org/store/blog/how_to_find_the_best_horse_camp.html. In addition, the American Camp Association has been a partner of CHA in the past and offers an abundance of information on their website. http://www.acacamps.org

In the past, CHA has even offered CHA Young Riders Clinics for new young riders. http://www.equisearch.com/discoverhorses/video/video-cha-young-riders-clinic-23140

In addition to CHA instructors and camps, there are many additional options in the equine industry for youth to get involved. Some of the most well-known options include 4-H, FFA, and Pony Clubs. One thing to remember with 4-H and FFA is that they are not just exclusively about horses, so if your child is ONLY interested in horses and would not enjoy the other activities, then you may want to go with one of the other organizations mentioned below.

4-H is the Cooperative Extension System’s youth development program with 110 U.S. land-grand universities involved, which helps to make it the largest youth development organization with more than six million kids involved between the ages of 8 and 18 in more than 3,000 counties in rural, suburban, and rural areas across the United States. Every state and county across America, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and 80 other countries have local offices. The equine curriculum has five horse project activity guides with Levels 1-3 focusing on “horseless” activities, while riding and horsemanship is the focus of Levels 4 and 5. To look into joining or volunteering with 4-H, or to learn more, visit www.4-H.org to find your local 4-H office.

The National FFA Organization, mostly known as FFA, or the Future Farmers of America, involves teaching youth about livestock, including horses, and agricultural topics, although it is not just for those who want to be farmers. Anyone interested in those topics or those who want to become a teacher, doctor, scientist, veterinarian, engineer, chemist, biologist, business owner, etc., would benefit from involvement in FFA. Students participate in classroom and laboratory instruction, supervised agricultural programs, and student leadership opportunities within the organization. And for those who start FFA as a child and want to continue, there is the Collegiate FFA, programs for adults, and the opportunity to volunteer as an adult. FFA allows participants to connect with a mentor, win awards, and participate on horse judging and horsemanship teams. Within these teams, your child will learn how to judge horses just like the professionals do at horse competitions. To get involved with FFA, look for the nearest chapter organized at the local school level. This chapter is connected to your state’s association underneath the national organization. To learn more, visit www.ffa.org.

The United States Pony Clubs (USPC) provides horsemanship and horse care instruction. Its core values include horsemanship, organized teamwork, and respect for horse and self through horsemanship, service, and education. Participants can now stay within the organization until they are 25 if they meet requirements. There is no minimum age set by the national organization, but many local clubs set a minimum age. There are Pony Clubs in many countries worldwide, and the U.S.’s organization was originally an offshoot of the British Pony Club. USPC offers mounted and unmounted meetings, clinics, rallies, certifications, exchanges, and other special opportunities. Certifications are available within the disciplines of dressage, show jumping, and some Western disciplines. To become a member of USPC, members join through their local Pony Club or through a riding center that has been recognized by the USPC to administer the Pony Club program. Parents and volunteers administer the program; this is important to keep in mind since it will involve a time commitment from whoever is taking the child to meetings and events. With that said, this type of activity, which requires parental participation, is a great way to get involved and bond with your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc. While horse ownership is not required, participants must arrange to have a pony or horse available to ride and may need to trailer that horse to meetings or events. But don’t let this discourage you. Many riding centers can provide a horse for a child to use for Pony Club activities, as long as it is not a stallion and the mount is at least five years old. To learn more, visit www.ponyclub.org.

The National Little Britches Association (NLBRA) is for children ages 5 to 18 who want to participate in rodeo events and Pee Wee Rodeos. There are almost 400 youth rodeos within 15 states, and these events allow youth to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo. While it seems like a smaller organization, it involves more than 2,000 kids from 27 states that compete in NLBRA events every year. Equine events include breakaway calf roping, tie-down calf roping, team roping, barrel racing, pole bending, and goat tying. For more information, visit www.nlbra.com.

One organization helps youth and youth leaders in the equine industry regardless of breed or discipline organization. That is the American Youth Horse Council (AYHC), which serves as a national information center that offers ongoing training opportunities to youth and to people looking to teach kids about horses. AYHC strives to provide opportunities for youth leaders to network among adults in the industry. It also produces high-quality educational resources for kids. AYHC grants helps youth to attend equine activities in the United States.

In addition to these organizations, there are also youth organizations within most horse breed and discipline organizations. These organizations offer a variety of activities, leadership opportunities, ways for children to be mentored, events and conferences, and even all-youth championship horse shows. Some examples include the:

  • American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA),
  • American Junior Paint Horse Association (AjPHA),
  • National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHYA),
  • Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA),
  • Appaloosa Youth Association (AYA),
  • American Morgan Horse Association Youth (AMHAY),
  • National Reined Cow Horse Association Youth (NRCHAY),
  • National Youth Cutting Horse Association (NYCHA),
  • And many more.

Many organizations offer contests and youth awards through their youth associations or through the parent organization. It’s important to keep this in mind and research in advance since some of these awards must be applied for in advance or require an accumulation of points or achievements, which can help kids focus towards achieving a goal. Some awards are not just for riding achievements; many are given to those who exemplify sportsmanship, volunteerism, leadership, commitment, dedication, and other similar traits that adults are trying to teach to the next generation. Some contests and awards may be geared toward youth with a special talent, such as art, photography, writing, etc. Several youth awards offered by breed and discipline organizations include scholarships and grants.

Within one of the largest disciplines, dressage, the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) offers a variety of programs for youth on upward. USDF’s Platinum Performance Junior/Young Rider Clinic Series offers educational opportunities for riders age 14 to 21, while the Young Rider Graduate Program educates riders age 20-28. Many of these riders may go on to compete in upper-level dressage events. Clinics by some of the top dressage clinicians continue the dressage education for attendees on a variety of topics. Meanwhile, the Youth Dressage Sport Horse Breeder/Handler Seminar assists those with a desire to specialize in sport horse breeding and handling and to familiarize them with the breeding and showing of dressage prospects and breeding stock.

In addition to various opportunities for education, USDF offers the USDF Youth Convention Scholarship Program to provide financial support to young dressage enthusiasts who want to attend the annual convention. And the Ravel Education Grants recognizes outstanding displays of sportsmanship among USDF youth. These grants can help cover expenses associated with attending an educational dressage event of the winners’ choice.

In addition to the programs above, don’t forget to ask your student’s school if they have recognized or affiliated programs within the equine industry. One example is the USDF Youth Dressage Rider Recognition Pin Program, which provides pins to kids from sixth grade through 12th grade if their middle school or high school or home school program is a participating member.

A similar program includes the United States Equestrian Federation’s Athlete Letter Program for kids in fifth grade through 12th grade who document their training and competition involvement in order to win emblems and pins, just like other sports earn letters and pins for school jackets. In addition, USEF started offering the USEF High School Scholarship, which provides $1,000 grant to one graduating high school senior that plans on pursuing an equestrian-related degree or compete on an intercollegiate equestrian team. One of the most prestigious national awards is the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award, which was designed to develop leaders in the equine industry from all breeds and disciplines. Each year, USEF seeks a winner that demonstrates a commitment and dedication to the promotion of equestrian sport and who can serve as a role model for peers, be involved in community activities, and exhibit great sportsmanship. One final honor available to juniors is the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year Award, which is one of USEF’s most prestigious awards. It is given to a junior member of USEF who exhibits the qualities of good sportsmanship and integrity and who exemplifies exceptional talent and dedication to the sport while showing compassion for horses and horse welfare. For more information on USEF’s programs, visit www.USEF.org.

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is offered for kids in grades 6th through 12th, and participants do not need to own a horse. Riders of various levels compete on IEA teams in hunt seat and Western disciplines throughout the school year for individual and team points and accolades. IEA teams are offered through public and private schools and through participating barns. Riders draw a name of a horse that has been provided for the competition and compete on that mount. There are more than 11,000 members competing in hundreds of events across the United States. For more information, visit www.RideIEA.org.

While this is not an exhaustive list of organizations with some sort of youth program, these are some of the most well-known programs. So whether you own a horse or not, and whether your child wants to ride or participate in another way, there are a variety of options. Stay tuned to our blog for a future post on the options available to college students.

College Level

The American National Riding Commission (ANRC) offers a rider certification program to schools, colleges, and universities, along with public or private riding programs. The goal is to promote the American System of Forward Riding. ANRC also offers instructional riding clinics, forums and symposiums on related topics, and cooperation with other organizations whose purposes align with those of ANRC. The ANRC Intercollegiate Equitation Championship offers college students a national championship that tests riders in a team aboard either college-owned horses or privately owned horses in a program ride (that includes USEF hunter equitation tests), a hunter seat equitation medal course, a derby course with natural jumps in a field, and a written test based on riding theory and stable management developed from the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s Trainer’s Certification Manual. For more information, please visit www.anrc.org.

The Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Dressage Association (IDA) allows college students to include dressage into their college experience. Every school year, colleges throughout the United States and Canada allow IDA riders to earn individual and team points through competitions in Introductory, Lower Training, Upper Training, and First Level. In 2015, dressage seat equitation was added. Riders compete on horses provided by the host college through random draw and are granted a 10-minute warm-up session aboard their mount. Regional winners go on to compete in a national championship that hosts 12 teams and 12 individual riders in the four areas levels listed above. IDA is a great option for riders who do not own horses or who have never done dressage, but who want to add it to their riding experience. For more information, visit www.teamdressage.com.

The Interscholastic Horse Show Association (IHSA) is for riders of all skill levels who compete on teams and as individuals within an IHSA region, zone, and at the national level across the United States and in parts of Canada. Anyone, regardless of riding experience, can compete for their participating college. Riders compete in hunt seat equitation, Western horsemanship, jumping, and reining. Riders do not need to own a horse, and the host college will provide horses for a competition. Riders compete by random draw and ride the horse they have drawn. For more information, visit www.ihsainc.com.

The Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association (ISSRA) is still a fairly new organization. At this point it is only eight years old. ISSRA’s mission is to establish saddle seat riding teams at colleges and universities across the United States for beginners through advanced riders. Participants do not need to own a horse since each team is paired with a local riding school as their home base. Their home base provides saddle seat instruction and team practices aboard the riding stable’s horses, as well as coaching at shows. This is the first program for saddle seat riding in an intercollegiate equestrian program. For more information, visit www.intercollegiatesaddleseat.com.

The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), formerly Varsity Equestrian, was created to continue the advancement of equestrian sport as an emerging sport within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Your Cheat Sheet to College Riding Teams

Why You Should Find a Certified Riding Instructor

By Sarah Evers Conrad

So has it finally started? Has your child started asking for a horse? Or at least some riding lessons? Or maybe you are the one who dreams of galloping across an open field on your trusty steed. But how do you get started? Perhaps your first thought is to open up the Yellow Pages, or more often these days, run to the Internet to Google it. The problem with this is that anyone can advertise themselves as a riding instructor.

Think about this: Do you really want to trust just anyone to put your child on a 1,000-pound animal with a mind of its own? What about if they really don’t know what they are doing and there is an accident? Just like fitness trainers, emergency medical technicians, bus drivers, and auto mechanics require special training and a certificate or license to be in their field, so should riding instructors. For safety reasons alone, not just anyone should be able to call themselves a riding instructor and open up for business. Unfortunately, there is no law requiring this, but you can seek out a certified riding instructor for yourself or your child. And this is the smartest thing to do, especially if the prospective rider is a beginner.

The example above illustrates one of the best reasons to learn from a certified riding instructor, but there are many more reasons to find a certified instructor, and some excellent reasons why you should find someone certified through the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA).

The Importance of Certification

First off, let’s look at why you should find a certified instructor, and then we will get into why that instructor should be certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association.

1. Learning how to ride involves more than just climbing aboard and learning how to steer. Becoming an equestrian (a horseman or horsewoman) involves learning the following main items: how to take care of horses; how to handle horses in a safe and effective manner, both while mounted and on the ground; what to do in case of an emergency; how to care for the various parts of an equine facility–from the stall, to the tack room, to the fencing and beyond; what equipment and clothing you will need for riding and possibly competing, if you go that route; how to interact with other equestrians safely and appropriately, especially while mounted or in competition; what equipment (also called tack) is used on the horse; why certain tack is used; how to use tack; how to take care of tack; and more. These are just the basics. There is so much more to learn if you decide to compete or become a professional who works within the equine industry.

2. A certified instructor also knows what they are doing when they evaluate the rider’s position and technique while he/she is in the saddle. The instructor should be able to teach the rider how to ride with the correct position while also stressing safety and effectiveness.

3. A certified riding instructor will know when and how to make adjustments in tack, technique, and form, all while giving constructive criticism.

4. A certified instructor can teach the student about horse behavior and how to get the desired results from horses with different personalities without squashing the spirit of the horse. The beauty of horses are that they are not machines. Each one has a different personality, and when a rider knows how to work with various equine personalities in a harmonious fashion, then they have moved into the more advanced stages of horsemanship.

5. A certified riding instructor knows how to make each lesson fun. Even when a rider is having a frustrating moment, a certified instructor will know how to help the rider move through and past it so that the lesson becomes fun again. After all, that is what riding is all about. Most people get into it for the fun.

6. A certified instructor knows how to match a horse’s personality to a rider’s personality. This is important at a larger stable with multiple school horses or when buying that first horse.

7. A certified instructor knows how to instill self-confidence and can keep a rider from getting frustrated when a movement or lesson has not been going smoothly.

8. A certified riding instructor will know why certain things are done a certain way, but will also know about various methods of teaching and the various schools of thought that have developed during man’s history with horses. One example comes to mind when thinking of how an instructor can teach why things are done. Why do we put our heels down, and how far down should they be? Based on the discipline, your heels will be down hardly at all or quite a bit, and you don’t want to jam them down. Your heels act as shock absorbers for you and helps keep your pelvis open when you ride instead of it being closed. This then lessens bouncing while you ride. Knowing the “whys” and theory of riding is something a certified instructor will keep up on and be able to explain, and if you have a question they can’t answer, they will find the answer for you and get back with you!

9. A certified instructor can teach a beginning rider correctly from the start. It is a lot easier to begin riding with good habits vs. trying to break a rider’s bad habits that have been learned from a poor instructor. Getting off to a correct start can prevent a rider from wasting valuable time and money with a poor instructor, as well.

10. A certified riding instructor will know how to choose school horses carefully for their program. Therefore, riders at a barn with a certified instructor and multiple school horses will gain experience riding many different types of horses instead of just practicing with one or two horses owned by a non-certified instructor teaching in their back yard.

11. And for the rider who decides to go it alone and teach himself/herself how to ride using only videos, books, and the Internet, then this rider will be missing out on a lot of useful knowledge and the resources that a certified instructor can provide. In addition, the rider would not receive any of the benefits mentioned above. It is best to use a certified instructor and then supplement that instruction with the above sources.

12. One thing to remember is that even the best riders in the world have instructors or coaches. Professional horsemen and women know that there is always something valuable to learn from another well-trained equestrian. Many of those Olympic equestrians likely had their first ride with a riding instructor on a school horse.

The Importance of Certification from CHA

While there are other organizations that certify riders, several of these are designed for the more advanced rider or for the rider of a certain discipline. But for the purpose of this article, we have been discussing the more grassroots rider…the beginner. And this is the level of rider that CHA has strived to help the most throughout its 45+ year history. For those other organizations that certify instructors for beginning riders and beyond, many are not as in-depth and rigorous in their testing and requirements for their instructors to receive certification. For various reasons below, the program created by the Certified Horsemanship Association weeds out inexperienced instructors, leading to certified instructors that are better options for the beginning rider.

1. First and foremost, instructors certified through CHA have had to actually attend a multi-day intensive certification clinic, where they are tested with written tests, evaluated by two CHA clinic instructors and their peers (other clinic attendees), and where they participate in in-depth workshops and must share their ideas and teaching methods. Only then are they given a certification at the discretion of the two CHA certified instructors leading the clinic. This is much more involved than merely sending in a video, etc., for certification.

2. CHA certified instructors are tested on five of the most important aspects needed for a good instructor. These are: safety, horsemanship knowledge and ability, teaching techniques, group control, and responsibility and professionalism. Aspiring instructors must show proficiency in these five areas or they will go home without certification.

3. CHA instructors are only certified to the level that they can teach, meaning that an instructor should not be teaching beyond that level. So when a parent or prospective rider is seeking out an instructor, they know how far that instructor will be able to take them. However, certification and the level should be verified by the new student before starting with any instructor.

4. Since a CHA certified instructor has invested their time and their money to attend a certification clinic and participate in CHA’s program, a student will know that this instructor is a serious professional. They have committed themselves to demonstrating that they are a knowledgeable, safe, and effective instructor and business manager.

5. CHA instructors must also keep up to date on the latest techniques, news, and knowledge within their industry. By participating in 25 hours or more of continuing education and work within the equine industry, they can renew their certification once it has expired in three years vs. being re-tested at another clinic. Or to raise their level of certification, they are required to go through the testing process again. It is just as rigorous and intensive to raise his/her teaching certificate level.

6. Most CHA certified instructors continue learning more themselves at hands-on clinics and workshops put on by CHA or other equine organizations. This striving for excellence is certainly a reason to enlist the help of a CHA certified instructor to teach you or your child how to ride.

With these 18 reasons to use a certified riding instructor, and more importantly, one who is certified through CHA, we hope you can see the importance of not just choosing anyone off the Internet or at the recommendation of another person who does not ride themselves. To find a CHA instructor, visit HYPERLINK “http://www.CHAInstructors.com” https://cha.horse/

Stayed tuned to this blog for the next topic: How to find the best certified riding instructor for you.

Further Reading: Learn more about what it takes to begin riding with the book, Ready to Ride. This must-have book discusses how to choose a breed or riding style, looking for an instructor, what equipment you will need, how to lease a horse, cost factors, and more. Written with safety and the best education in mind, this book can be bought online at CHA’s store. HYPERLINK “http://cha-ahse.org/store/products/Ready_to_Ride_Book.html”

2013 CHA International Conference Speakers

2013 CHA International Conference Speakers

Katherine BarBarite

Katherine teaches a straight forward set of exercises that aide in the development of a calm confident horse and rider. No matter the skill level or discipline, these steps remove fear and resistance, elevating trust, communication and bond. Understanding the importance of herd structure and leadership to enhance safety and promote growth. Learn why bad timing and poor releases lead to unhappy and ridged horses. Most of all, ‘become more than a passenger, become a partner’.

 

Partnership & Confidence Building – Structured Foundation

Saturday – 9 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Master a straight forward set of exercises that builds a solid structured foundation. “Connecting with the mind and the feet will follow.” Keep heightened safety in mind. Replace fear and build confidence no matter the level, discipline, breed or age. Earn a higher level of trust, communication and bonding. Develop advanced concise communication and a better understanding of horse psychology and mechanics, as you develop improved timing, finesse, balance and feel for a harmonious relationship.

 

Lynn Bliven

Lynn-Bliven.jpgLynn is a Resource Educator with Cornell University Cooperative Extension. She began her career working as a 4-H Agent and is currently working in Agricultural Economic Development; specializing in beginning farmer outreach, local food systems and livestock production. Lynn and husband Shawn operate a 52 acre farm in Rushford, NY raising grass-fed beef, lamb and poultry.  A past board member of the Certified Horsemanship Association, Lynn is a certified Master Instructor and Clinic Staff Instructor.

 

Equine Forage Management Technique; There’s Gold in Those Fields

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn

Roundtable Discussions

With forage prices climbing, pasture management and hay evaluation are two topics equine facility managers need to be up-to-date on. Whether or not animals on the farm are for pleasure or part of the farm business, they are important to the operator. Pasture management and making or purchasing quality hay have direct impacts on animal health and wellbeing in addition to farm profitability. This session will cover the whys of managing pastures, how grazing affects plant growth, what influences plant nutrient content, composting manure, when to apply nutrients to fields and selection of the right hay to fit the individual needs of your horse herd.

Driving 101 and Preliminary Ground Driving

Saturday – 4 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

We will discuss the fundamentals of putting the horse before the cart. This step-by-step walk through will introduce participants to a safe and efficient way of driving a single harness horse. Topics to be covered include suitability, selecting harness & cart, getting the horse accustom to harness, pulling a load, along with other valuable advice for a safe and enjoyable experience driving your horse.

 

Josiah Brown

Josiah has traveled all over the country speaking, but he is no happier than when he is speaking in the horse industry which he loves. Josiah has owned a marketing and branding company in New York for 10 years and is the publisher of the new and forthcoming Western Dressage Magazine. Marketing and branding touches our lives every day. Josiah’s passion is to have fun while teaching businesses foundational concepts. Once you get a grasp of what is behind consumer’s habits and trust, you can make better decisions about how to attract customers to who you are.

 

How to Brand and Market Your Business Keynote

Thursday – 6 p.m. – Holiday Inn Ball Room

Josiah will have some fun and engage the audience in helping to bring a “Secret Marketing Formula” to the whole group. Marketing is nothing more than the study of common sense. This study can be broken down into tangible steps that will enable a potential customer to clearly recognize who you are.

 

Anne Brzezicki

Anne serves as Director of Equestrian Programs, and coaches the equestrian team at Middle Tennessee State University. Her background includes teaching at 4-H horse camps in CT and TN, competing in USEF, IHSA and AQHA shows, and coaching many youth, amateur, and Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national champions. She has recently begun hosting CHA certification clinics and thoroughly enjoys working with other teachers in an atmosphere of shared enthusiasm, knowledge and techniques.

 

Bending Exercises for Lateral Control

Friday – 1 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Help riders understand how to move the horse’s body parts and improve the flexibility of your school horses at the same time. Bending exercises help riders think about where and how to use their aids, and improve the horse’s response. Turns on the forehand and circles develop into lateral movements in an easy to follow progression.

 

Doug Emerson

Doug combined his expertise in small business strategy with his love of horses to create Profitable Horseman, a company dedicated to helping professional horsemen and horsewomen who are struggling with the business half of the horse business. With the help of 8 key strategies, Doug helps professionals focus on improving and shaping their businesses to create the businesses they have always wanted while maintaining a proper balance of work, rest and play. He has spoken at: American Morgan Horse Annual Convention, American Ranch Horse Annual Convention, USHJA Annual Convention, Kentucky Equine Network Association and has made numerous presentations and conducted workshops for horse organizations and clubs. Emerson writes a free electronic newsletter about the business of horses which is available for subscription at www.ProfitableHorseman.com. He has written articles for Cutting Horse ChatterIllinois Horse Network and Perfect Horse Magazine. Doug and his wife Betsey are the parents of six children and live in Lockport, New York on a 28 acre horse farm.

Riding Lesson Program Profit Analysis

Thursday – 2 p.m. – Holiday Inn

In this session, learn how to analyze and build your current program for improving profitability and plan for growth.

How to Publish an Electronic Newsletter For Your Clients And Future Clients

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

A step-by-step approach to begin publishing a newsletter in less than 30 days will be discussed.

Understanding Horse Boarding Profitability and Its Contribution To Your Business

Friday – 10:30 a.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

In this presentation, tips on boarding profitability improvements and how to measure the benefit of boarding to your program will be analyzed.

 

Jim Glunt

Jim-glunt.jpgJim has been involved with horses for over 40 years. In the past, he has led the horse operation at a resort hotel, directed a youth camp with an extensive horse program, and worked as a farrier. Prior to retiring he offered a wide variety of support services to group horseback riding programs through Jim Glunt Equine Services. These services also included staff selection, development and training; program planning and development; risk reviews; site planning; plus tack and saddle repair. He has been involved with CHA since 1980, serving on the CHA Board and Executive Committee. In addition to CHA events, Jim has led workshops for a variety of regional and national groups, including the Pennsylvania Equine Council, the American Camp Association – Keystone Section, the YMCA, as well as the Pennsylvania State University. He is a CHA certified riding instructor and site visitor trainer and has had articles published in both The Instructor and Camping Magazine. He resides in central Pennsylvania with his wife Jill.

Staff and Horse Selection

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

Critical points, considerations, sources and suggestions relative to these all-important program areas. Whether staff or horses — where do we find them? How do we qualify them? How do we keep them? What do we do when it is time for them to move on? We will discuss these and other topics.

Western Saddle Fit

Friday – 10:30 a.m. – Trail Encampment

An interactive workshop applying saddle fit principles for both horse and rider to group riding programs. It will include recommendations for saddles most suitable to group programs; fit for horse and rider; saddle rigging; seat measurement; and evaluating a used saddle. Various saddles and trees will be available as well as horses to demonstrate fitting principles.

 

Julie Goodnight

Julie-Goodnight.jpgJulie is the popular RFD-TV host of Horse Master airing Monday and Saturday nights. Julie travels the USA sharing her no-nonsense horsemanship training with riders of all disciplines. Whether you ride English, Western, dressage or trail ride, Julie’s “Classic Skills for a Natural Ride” teaching helps you feel more confident in the saddle and helps you understand the “whys” of horsemanship. She loves continually learning and sharing horse behavior insights and she relates that knowledge to how you should interact with your horses. She’s experienced in dressage and jumping, racing, reining, cow horse, colt-starting, and wilderness riding. You’ve probably seen her articles in Horse & Rider, The Trail Rider and many other horse publications. Julie is honored to be the International Spokesperson for the Certified Horsemanship Association and was named Equine Affaire’s Exceptional Equestrian Educator. Julie grew up on the hunter-jumper circuits in Florida, but is now at home in the west. She and her husband Rich Moorhead live in the mountains. Both love versatility ranch horse competitions and riding cow-horses.

Fun Unmounted Lessons to Improve Equitation

9 a.m. – Saturday – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

Balance, alignment, rhythm, using your aids—these are all skills that can easily be taught from the ground in fun and challenging exercises that anyone can do and that hone physical skills while giving the student a deeper understanding of theory.

All Skill Levels—All at Once

Saturday – Noon – ShowPlex Arena – Keynote

It’s not always about teaching to the lowest level of the group. What if you have to keep many different horses and riders challenged and learning in the same arena, all at the same time? One rider can barely control her horse, while another is competing at the highest level—this is what horsemanship clinicians do and it isn’t easy. Learn the tricks of rider/horse analysis, keeping riders challenged and teaching one skill at many different levels, all at the same time.

Leads, Departures and Lead Changes

Saturday – 4 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Ask an advanced rider what she wants to accomplish and chances are good that the response will be ‘flying lead changes.’ Learn how to teach leads and departures, deal with lead problems and check off the pre-requisite skills for flying lead changes.

 

Katie Gussenhofen

One of Katie’s earliest memories was going to a Grange supper, then being spirited away by her grandfather, still wearing her puffy little girl dress and patent leather shoes, to head to the pony auction. Thus began her love affaire with horses. In her twenties, Katie discovered ex-racehorses and eventing. 1996 found her as a spectator at Rolex where she met saddle maker, David Young. He turned a saddle upside down, cut it apart, and she was hooked. Katie then spent 10 years selling saddles for a major manufacturer and worked with Olympic riders in every discipline involving English saddles. She has reflocked saddles and currently balances all makes of saddles. Katie has also been trained in equine massage, mainly as it relates to biomechanics.

English Saddle Fit

Saturday – 9 a.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

This presentation will review the ten points of saddle fit and how saddle design affects rider position and impacts instructor effectiveness.

 

Susan E. Harris

Susan is an international clinician and equestrian author, artist, and educator, teaching Centered Riding, biomechanics and anatomy and horsemanship clinics to riders of all breeds and disciplines. Her unique demonstration, “Anatomy in Motion: The Visible Horse,” in which she paints the bones and muscles on a live horse, has been a popular attraction at equine expos and clinics around the world, from Australia and Japan to Europe. Susan is a Level IV (Advanced) Centered Riding clinician and has been honored as a Master Instructor by the American Riding Instructor Association. Susan Harris is the author/illustrator of Horse Gaits, Balance, and Movement, Grooming to Win, CHA Composite Manual of Horsemanship and the U.S. Pony Club Manuals of Horsemanship, and has produced Anatomy in Motion I: The Visible Horse and Anatomy in Motion II: The Visible Rider as DVDs. She has also illustrated books on equine biomechanics for Dr Hilary Clayton and Dr Gerd Heuschmann. Susan’s study of equine and human anatomy and movement, artist’s eye and experience as an instructor, trainer and judge, give her a unique perspective on horses, riders and how they move. You can visit Susan Harris online at www.anatomyinmotion.com.

How Horses Move: Understanding Equine Biomechanics and How It Relates to School Horses

Friday – 2:30 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

Susan shows the basics of how horses move, good movement and damaging movement, and practical approaches to helping your horses move their best and stay sound and healthy in a lesson program.

Equine Anatomy Workshop

Saturday – Noon – Training Arena in Barn 9

A hands-on approach to equine anatomy: discuss the equine skeleton and muscular system, questions & answers, and help paint the Visible Horse.

Anatomy in Motion: The Visible Horse

Saturday – 2:30 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Come and watch the Visible Horse in motion and learn horse anatomy and how horses move.

Beyond “Heels Down”–What Do We Really Teach?

Saturday – 7 p.m. – Holiday Inn Ball Room

Come and join us for the CHA Annual Awards Banquet and hear Susan Harris do a keynote speech directed to riding instructors.

 

Kathie Hilsher

Kathie lives on a small hobby farm in Houghton, NY with her husband, two kids, and two horses. She currently teaches in the English department at Houghton College. She grew up riding at Houghton College Equestrian Center and there connected with CHA, took her first certification clinic when she turned 18, and followed with a second certification clinic at the age of 21 in hopes of being a clinic instructor. Since then she has taught lessons privately, worked several clinics, began judging, started volunteering at the Allegany County 4-H horse program, and taken on the task of teaching her kids responsible and safe horsemanship—the most important job of all.

Partnering with 4-H

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

Are the mission, vision, and objectives of CHA and the 4-H Horse program compatible? How can we partner together with 4-H as riding instructors to enhance the 4-H horse program in our own areas? How can the two organizations benefit from each other? We will use this round table discussion time to look for answers to these questions and begin brainstorming ways we can serve and partner to train up safer, more effective young horse people.

 

Teresa Kackert

Teresa has been CHA Clinic Instructor since 2003. She is also Chris Irwin Natural Horsemanship ‘Double-Gold’ Certified and a Richard Shrake Resistance Free Riding Master Level Trainer/Instructor. Teresa is the creator of the ‘Soft Touch’ Training Program – Classical Equitation & Natural Horsemanship and has over 20 years professional experience as a rider, competitor, trainer, instructor, clinician and personal coach. She is founder of Great Horses of America, Consignment Horse Sales company and Co-Founder of Pink Heart Pony Kids, Inc. Teresa specializes in: confidence building in both horse and rider, horse behavior modification, motivational personal coaching and skill enhancement for riders & horses of all levels and disciplines. www.GreatHorses.org.

‘Soft Touch’ Horsemanship Equine Communication Demystified

Thursday – 2 p.m. – Holiday Inn

Learn the subtleties of effectively communicating with your horse in every situation; applies to in hand and under saddle work. ‘Listen’ and ‘speak’ with your mind & body; verbal & nonverbal skills both you and your horse have and use at all times. Understand ‘what’ your horse is telling you and ‘what’ you are telling him. THEY ‘see’ and THEY ‘say’ it ALL! It is our job to ‘translate’.

‘Soft Touch’ Horsemanship Equine Performance Skills

Saturday – 1 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

Put into practice the communication techniques learned above in Part 1. Fine tune & apply your equine communication skills both verbal and nonverbal. Continue to develop your equine vocabulary and ‘translation’ expertise. What are you really ‘saying’ to him: with merely your physical presence or your natural riding aids—leg, hands, seat, voice. Does he hear me? Is he even listening! Does he understand me? Uh oh… ’do I understand him?’

 

Mike King

Mike is a managing Partner at Capri Insurance Ltd. and is responsible for the development and management of various equine insurance programs across Canada. As of today, over 50,000 equine industry participants are protected by Capri’s unique programs. Mike has been involved in the horse industry in one way or another since childhood. He has shown on the “A” circuit, judged horse shows, raised and trained horses for himself and clients and managed facilities which offered a variety of services to competitors and recreational riders alike. Mike is well known as the ‘Insurance Guy’ in the Canadian equine community. In addition to running the brokerage in Aurora, Ontario; Mike teaches a course on equine risk management at the University of Guelph and regularly publishes articles addressing insurance topics in various publications. Mike has over forty years of experience involved in the horse industry and twenty years in the equine insurance industry. His background provides unique insight and understanding of the life we lead and the risks we face with our equine partners – regardless of geography. Insurance for Horses & Their People – It’s what we do!

Risk Management

Saturday – 1 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

The specialized insurance products that all people who own horses should understand. Liability and the equine professional / facility operator – they can’t sue me – can they?

 

Karolina LaBrecque

Karolina holds a Ph.D in Physical Rehabilitation and MS in Psychology. She has 20+ years of horse experience and 10+ in hippotherapy /therapeutic riding experience. Karolina holds PATH International and CHA certifications in USA and hippotherapy/ able body certifications in Poland. In her carrier as educator and mentor she introduced over 300 students to the field of EAAT. Besides involvement in the horse world she in an international speaker, life coach and psychology adjunct professor at the local collage. In her free time she teaches fencing and is involved in K-9 Search and Rescue Team.

Why Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) Work

Saturday – 10:30 a.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

Directed at THR instructors, horseback riding instructors, hippotherapists, volunteers and parents this presentation is intended to broaden understanding of EAAT and show the science behind it. The scope of EAAT, biomechanics of horse movement, influence of horse on the rider, therapeutic qualities of the horse, the therapeutic process and current research in the field will be covered.

 

Roxanne Lawrence

Roxanne is the current Executive Director of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and she is an initial founding member of that association.  Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, her equestrian experience started in the world of hunt seat riding.  She spent several years as a trainer and instructor, and ultimately moved into horse show management with positions at The National Horse Show (Madison Square Garden), WEF, HITS, Capitol Challenge, 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and many other notable events around the country.  She went on to manage the Andrews School Equestrian Center for 10 years in the Cleveland, Ohio area where she currently resides.

How Can my Equine Business Get Involved w/Interscholastic Equestrian Association

Thursday – 2 p.m. – Holiday Inn

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association was founded in 2002.  Just 10 years later, it boasts over 8,000 members who participate in two primary disciplines of Hunt Seat Equitation and Western Horsemanship/Reining.  With its draw-based format, the IEA offers competitive opportunities to riders in grades 6-12 that may not own a horse, and it offers significant opportunities for growing your business and attracting new clientele to your lesson program.  What are the benefits to your business and your clients? How do you get involved?  Come to this session to learn all about the Interscholastic Equestrian Association.

 

Amy Long-Mount DVM

Amy earned her BS in large animal science from Delaware Valley College and her DVM from Purdue University. Amy has special interest in equine dentistry and complementary medicine. In 2006 she completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society course in veterinary acupuncture and believes in using both traditional and alternative medicines to keep horses willing and able to perform their best. Amy and her husband also run a horse boarding business in Cuba, NY.

Equine Acupuncturist/Dentistry

Saturday – 2:30 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

Horses by nature are very accommodating animals and most “bad” behaviors can be explained as the horse’s way of trying to ask (sometimes demand) help. As horse owners, riders and trainers it is our responsibility to hear what they are trying to tell us and help them find the right answer. Acupuncture and dentistry are two modalities that can be used to help us to help them. Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine and operates on the philosophy that bodily functions and athletic performance are dependent on the smooth flow of energy throughout the body. Any interference or interruption in that energy flow can disrupt normal function, leading to disease. By placing tiny needles at very specific locations we can stimulate the flow of energy and return the body to its properly balanced state. Equine Dentistry has made huge jumps forward over the last 15 years and is a necessity for safety, good health and maximum performance. Getting your horse’s teeth “floated” involves much more than rasping off sharp points with a file. Discussions on what it means to properly “balance” the equine mouth and how dental health impacts performance and quality of life.

 

Reba Martinez

Having grown up around horses, Reba barrel raced and competed in play days as a child. As a young adult, she worked as a pharmacy technician in hospitals at night and exercised race horses early in the morning. She went on to a professional career in the horse racing industry as a jockey for 8 years and licensed trainer for 10 years. She and her husband, Larry, founded Blue Streak Stables, a horsemanship camp that teaches girls 7 to 15 years old all about horses. They learn to care for horses and are taught the foundations of riding. As a CHA instructor for 10 years, Reba is very qualified and has imparted a love of horses in many girls.

Understanding New Technology in Treating Colic

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Round Table Discussions

Through years of working with horses, particularly the older horses at the stables, Reba has seen her share of colic cases. She has appeared as a guest speaker at numerous events. She has a wonderful flair in teaching to help horse owners understand the digestive tract of horses, how each of these different types of colic affect the horse with signs and symptoms. Vital signs and assessments are important and how to achieve these before calling your vet. Through new technology, discovery of a revolutionary way for every horse owner to treat colic where in 30 minutes gut sounds return. It is 100% effective on impactions, light sand, spasm, gas colics and also treatment of diarrhea. Participants will learn how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of colic and how to effectively treat it quickly and easily. Learn about the equine digestive tract anatomy. Learn the cause, prevention and different types of colic and how it affects the digestive tract.

 

Dan McCarthy

Working with horses since he was 14, Dan’s thinking and therefore his training has evolved to a place of oneness with the horse. Through private lessons, group lessons and clinics, Dan makes this experience accessible to anyone who desires to have that kind of intimate connection with their horse. Dan is certified as a Richard Shrake Resistance Free TM Trainer and is committed to Bill Dorrance’s teachings: making the right thing obvious, setting things up for success, and working within the horse’s timeline. When not training or caring for his own herd at his home Little T Ranch in Hobart, NY, Dan provides his time and talents to help rehabilitate horses for adoption through Rosemary Farm Sanctuary in S. Kortright, NY.

Understanding the Timing of a Horse Through Music

Saturday – 10:30 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena

The magic of this program comes from you tapping in to the rhythmic nature of your horse. We accomplish this using music to explain the footfall and song to obtain the rhythmic harmony – an elegant dance – between you and your horse. The musical pulse is used to move the horse, rather than driving or pressure. Selected songs as well as spontaneous compositions are used to create the natural, rhythmic communication between you and your horse.

 

Valerie McCloskey

Valerie is the trainer and instructor at Whisper Wind and a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist, awards she earned on horses that she trained herself. Valerie is working towards her Gold Medal and has competed at Intermediare with scores in the mid 60s. She has been riding since she was a child and has competed in Western, Huntseat and Dressage. Valerie has obtained accreditation and certification through CHA where she has earned her Master Instructor and ACI certifications. Valerie also coached an IHSA team for 5 years and brought them from 15 to 7th place in a very competitive region. She trains horses and riders of all levels, breeds and disciplines with emphasis on a correct foundation. Valerie is available for private, semi-private and group lessons.

Semi-Private Dressage Lessons

Friday – 9 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena – $$Extra Fee Required

Exercises for Half Halt and Position

Friday – 1 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

This will be an unmounted session. In this session we will discuss the theory of and types of half halts and why and when you would use them. We will discuss the riders’ position and the importance of it in applying the half halts.

How to Ride and Teach the Counter Canter

Saturday – 1 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

We will discuss and explore the steps and preparation leading up to the counter canter including being able to position the haunches and control the shoulders, as well as the theory behind why we do it and how to execute the counter canter.

 

Mark Munzert

Mark is a proud cowboy and equine author and story-teller that appreciates and promotes the traditional, value-centric, measured evolution and down to earth ways of life with horses. Comfortable in the classroom, ‘at home’ in the saddle, or around the campfire, his brand of info-tainment is thought provoking, tear inducing and laugh producing.  Mark operates HorseSurrounds, a provider of indoor arenas and equine barns. You can reach him at www.cowpokescorral.com.

Cowboy Poetry

Saturday – CHA Awards Banquet – 7:00 p.m. – Holiday Inn Ball Room

 

Dale Myler

Dale and his brothers Ron and Bob are third generation horsemen, and are three of the world’s leading bit designers. Because of Dale’s extensive research into equine dentistry and equine physiology, the Mylers have been able to bring an added understanding of the connection between bitting and the equine mouth to their designs. Dale has done bitting clinics and seminars all over the US and in the following countries: Sweden, Wales, England, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria. In 2006, Dale was given the privilege of conducting a seminar at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.

Bits and Bitting Practical

Friday – 10:30 a.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

During this arena demonstration, Dale will provide an overview of the bit selection process: identifying resistance and evaluating individual horses; introducing and transitioning the horse and rider to a new bit; and following up with an evaluation of the horse and further instruction for the rider. A basic knowledge of the Myler bitting philosophy as found in the Myler book, The Level Best for Your Horse, will be helpful but not required.

 

Ken Najorka

With over thirty years of horsemanship experience, Ken lives in Central Florida as an active reining instructor, but knows that good horsemanship and equitation are simply that, no matter the discipline. Ken’s experience as a coach and clinician reaches beyond the show pen. The work has taken him to many parts of the country and allowed him to work with a variety of individuals and horses. Ken is a CHA certified instructor and the Region 7 Director. He has worked as an instructor for Dennis Reis Universal Horsemanship that can be seen on RFD-TV. Najorka Performance Horses, LLC encompasses: starting horses, problem solving, and fine tuning the well trained horse. From the beginner to the show pen, Ken prides himself on building a better horse-rider partnership. From teaching basic horsemanship to working with various jurisdictions of mounted police in safety training, Ken blends his knowledge of reining horses and natural horsemanship to help fill communication gaps between all types of horses and riders. Ken is available to conduct seminars, demonstrations and lessons throughout the year. Quality horses are available for sale or lease. You can contact Ken at najorkaperformancehorse@gmail.com

Balance of Horse and Rider

Friday – 2:30 p.m. – ShowPlex Arena

Confidence, forward and balance – how important are they?

 

Jill Paxton

Having grown up attending horse shows with her mother when she was judging, Jill’s involvement with horses has been lifelong. Currently as the Director of Equestrian Studies and Equine Management for The University of Findlay, Jill supervises both their English and Western Programs. Jill’s daughter Shannon Paxton-Hannasch is the third generation showing horses. Horses out of Jill’s training program are APHA World, Paint Congress, Pinto World, and Buckskin Congress Champions. Jill retired multiple AHSA/USEF judging cards. She currently holds judging cards with POAC, APHA, ABRA, ApHC, PtHA, Iowa Ranch Horse Association, Iowa 4H, and Iowa Open shows.

Exercises to Prepare Your Students to Jump

Friday – 10:30 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena

This presentation will discuss how to strengthen your student’s foundation skills and position leading up to jumping. A variety of exercises will be introduced utilizing bounce lines and grid work to help develop the student’s eye and timing. Open discussion will be encouraged.

Stops on a Western Horse

Friday – 2:30 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

The topic of this presentation will present the steps leading up to stopping a western horse. Specifically focusing on the importance of transitions and that they are important throughout all disciplines. Additionally the progression for teaching a stop will be outlined using different modalities and discussing various learning styles. Open discussion will be invited.

 

Shellie Pilato

Currently the Equestrian Director for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, Shellie began her professional riding career over 30 years ago starting colts and ponies in her father’s stable. Her background in various disciplines and areas of the equine industry were instrumental to forming her career with horses. Shellie designs and implements riding programs where the focus is on safe interaction with horses in a welcoming environment. Her passion is targeting and building solid beginner safe horses and helping instructors develop their skill, in and out of the arena. In her free time, Shellie serves on the CHA Board of Directors, works as Clinic Staff and continues to develop her own riding and training skills.

Teaching Techniques for Riding Instructors

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

This roundtable environment is an opportunity to explore the basic techniques of teaching and discuss creative ideas of reaching and engaging your students. Develop a better understanding of lesson planning and safe lesson set up, share what happens to be working for your program, or pick the brains of other professionals to help get your creative juices flowing. The topics to discuss could be endless and entertaining.

Putting the FUN Back Into Riding Fundamentals

Saturday – 2:30 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

Sometimes in our pursuit of riding, we often lose sight of the fact that at one time, riding was FUN. This class is a way to help put the FUN back into your Riding Fundamentals by exploring different topics and horsemanship through mounted games. Keep students engaged and learning. Bring school horses off of the rail get them thinking and tuned back into their rider. Help instructors regain creative & safe teaching methods and breathe life back into the riding program. Beth Powers and Shellie will discuss safe use & introduction of props, creative use of mounted games and will make available resources and lists of games known to help students reach their goals.

 

Heidi Potter

Heidi is a full time instructor, trainer and clinician with over 40 years of horse experience in several disciplines. Her program, “In Harmony With Horses”, is designed to improve the relationship between horses and humans. Using Natural Horsemanship techniques her work starts on the ground and then progresses to under saddle. She currently competes in the NE Stock Horse Show Series and works with gaited horses at two Vermont facilities. Ms. Potter is a Level III Centered Riding© Instructor/Clinician and a CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Instructor as well as the 2010 CHA Clinic Instructor of the Year. She teaches, trains and conducts clinics throughout the country, as well as at her family’s southern Vermont farm, Maple Ridge Stable. To learn more about Ms. Potter, her programs and clinics please visit www.InHarmonyWithHorses.com

Horse Agility Training Seminar

Friday – 9 a.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

The IHA (International Horse Agility Club) was founded in the United Kingdom by Vanessa Bee, author of The Horse Agility Handbook and the newly released DVD -Horse Agility-The DVD. The club’s purpose is to promote a safe, fun and unique competition experience for humans and horses of various ages, levels, abilities and breeds. Horse Agility offers a venue for people who cannot or do not ride horses and have a desire to compete. It also serves as a way to keep older or rehabbing horses mentally, physically and emotionally engaged. It is an ideal activity for camps, lesson programs, therapeutic riding programs or simply anyone who wants to enjoy a new activity and improve the overall relationship they share with their horse. A slideshow will be used to share information about the sport of Horse Agility. It is done on the ground with a strong emphasis on good horsemanship, improving communication and achieving a mutually respectful partnership with the horse. The goal in agility is to progress to working the obstacles at liberty. In addition to developing a good set of skills on the ground the handler must be mindful and have a solid understanding of equine behavior. The goal is to achieve clear communication and the ability to move your horse through the use of body language, not through applying pressure. (No sticks, whips or flags allowed in competition). The only two rules for this sport are that it must be SAFE and it must be FUN-for You and Your Horse!

Horse Agility Training Starter Course

Saturday – 10:30 a.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

This presentation will begin with reviewing basic ground skills needed for agility and an introduction to some of the obstacles.

 

Beth Powers

Beth-and-rosie-2011.jpgBeth Powers has been a CHA instructor for over 20 years many of these including being a member of the CHA board of directors. She has an education degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She has presented topics at CHA International and Regional Conferences, American Youth Horse Council Symposium and at Equine Affaire Ohio. Beth was asked to be the Keynote speaker at the Wisconsin State 4-H conference and her topics included teaching techniques and the process in which people learn different skills. She holds a membership in AQHA and has received a Professional Horsemanship distinction. Beth is a CHA Site Trainer and Visitor and is currently serving as the CHA Vice President.

Putting the FUN Back Into Riding Fundamentals

Saturday – 2:30 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

Sometimes in our pursuit of riding, we often lose sight of the fact that at one time, riding was FUN. This class is a way to help put the FUN back into your Riding Fundamentals by exploring different topics and horsemanship through mounted games. Keep students engaged and learning. Bring school horses off of the rail get them thinking and tuned back into their rider. Help instructors regain creative & safe teaching methods and breathe life back into the riding program. Shellie Pilato and Beth will discuss safe use & introduction of props, creative use of mounted games and will make available resources and lists of games known to help students reach their goals.

 

Heather Sansom

Heather is a rider biomechanics and conditioning specialist. She is a certified elite Personal Trainer, Centered Riding® Instructor and Equine Canada Competition Coach. A lifelong rider, she has trained in Dressage at Level 4 and is proud of having done at least one barrel race in her life, taken polo lessons, and hunted with hounds. Heather’s personal cross-training program varies according to season to include activities for cardiovascular, strength, core and flexibility training. She hikes, and trains in martial arts and dance for overall conditioning and to improve rhythm and co-ordination. In a project management role with the Equine Canada, she was responsible for the development of the national equestrian coaching and riding curriculums and certifications. She is recognized for her innovation in remodeling the equestrian adaptation of the Long Term Athlete Development sport model. Heather owns Equifitt and you can find out more at www.equifitt.com.

Athletic Development of the Rider and Fitness Exercises

Saturday – 4 p.m. – Showplex Club House Seminar Room

National programs in all 67 major sports in Canada are aligned with the Canadian model for long-term athlete development (LTAD). For many sports, including equestrian, sport-specific models have been developed to create a coherent framework for designing programming that meets the needs of riders of all ability levels, from recreational and beginner riders, to elite performance. The model is based on sport science related to natural developmental phases and windows of opportunity for skill acquisition. The principles of each stage help riding instructors and coaches with more tools for ensuring their students get the best preparation possible for the next stage of their development. This workshop will provide an overview of the framework, how it is useful for equestrian instructors, and provide some opportunity for peer discussion and sharing. Fitness helps a rider with more accurate aids and less risk of injury regardless of whether the goal is pure enjoyment or high performance. Coaches and instructors that understand the basic elements of rider fitness are better able to help guide their students toward health and fitness choices which contribute to achievement of their riding goals. In some cases, the riding instructor may be that student’s most significant influence on health and fitness at that moment. This talk will provide an overview of rider fitness, touching on important muscle groups, movement patterns, considerations based on seasonal training plan, and common postural issues and compensating patterns.

 

Mitzi Summers

Mitzi has been an instructor and trainer for many years. She is the recipient of the 2010 CHA Instructor of the Year Award, a Level IV Centered Riding Instructor, and a judge for the A.J.A. Mitzi works with all disciplines and all breeds of horses, and specializes in “problem” horses, using only positive reinforcement in her methods to rehabilitate horses. Mitzi has certified hundreds of instructors for CHA, and also travels internationally to teach instructor and training workshops for Centered Riding and also for SUMMERS E.T. (Summers Equine Theory). This program has been developed to educate riders, trainers and instructors in the classical, non-abusive methods of working with horses that has been established for centuries. Mitzi has traveled to Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and throughout the United States sharing her years of expertise to make the lives of horses and their riders happier and more meaningful.

Centered Riding

Friday – 1 p.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

Using images, knowledge of the biomechanics of horse and rider, and how horses learn and understand, this session will be addressing each horse and rider combination as unique entities. The goal for the session is that each rider and horse will have improved in performance and understanding. The only way that we can communicate with our horses correctly is through our bodies and correct use of the natural aids. Weight incorrectly distributed, mixed signals, tension or stiffness in the body of the rider can all result in confusion and even apprehension in the horse. Centered Riding allows each rider to become familiar with how to use their bodies correctly when they ride. “Hands On” work is used when appropriate to better the understanding of each rider on how to communicate to the best of their ability with their horse. Mitzi will encourage the audience to come into the arena at times to learn first-hand some of the more common procedures and body work that are the most helpful with riders.

 

Jennifer Willey

Jennifer-Willey.jpgJennifer is a CHA master instructor and clinic staff with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and sales. She currently works in Minnesota.

 

 

Social Media and How to Harness It

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

Are you utilizing social media? If not, you should be! Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is no longer a trend; it has become a valid marketing, communications and networking business tool that is free to use! This discussion will talk about some tips to navigating the technology, communicating with your fans and how to grow your business following.

 

Terry Williams

Terry is a 1984 graduate of Otterbein College in Ohio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Equine Science and Stable Management. Terry has been a Clinic Instructor with CHA since 1988, and a certified riding instructor with CHA since 1985, earning her ACI rating in 1986. Terry is also a Clinic Instructor for The Equine Facility Management Program, a certified Overnight guide, a Site Visitor, a past Region 4 Director, and currently a CHA Board of Directors Member. She has been on the Approved List of Ohio 4-H Judges since 1995. Terry has taught both in year round residential camps and privately. She currently specializes in teaching Problem Riders vs. Problem Horses. Terry graduated from nursing school in June 2009 and has been practicing as a registered nurse since then in a large hospital in northern Cincinnati. Previous to nursing school, Terry managed a large thoroughbred breeding and training farm for ten years. She resides with her family in Blanchester, Ohio.

Conformation Form to Function

Friday – 9 a.m. – Training Arena in Barn 9

When we look to buy a house we hire someone to see if it is structurally sound. When buying a horse it should be the same. Would you like to be able to predict what your horse’s potential lameness/unsoundness issues would be in the future? This is one reason we hire a vet for a pre-purchase exam. Yet, wouldn’t it be nice to wean out some of our prospects? Conformation does not have to be frightening or overwhelming. Attend this session and decide if you should place your horse in the halter class at the local show after you learn how to size up your competition. Yet, keep in mind that most horses have flaws and how we deal with these flaws helps us in the longevity of our horse’s career. Learn how to evaluate form to function of your prospects and choose the horse that will best meet your individual needs.

 

Jeff Wilson

“Starting young horses, reschooling problem horses, and putting people together with their own horses successfully are all pursuits that I have focused on.” With a thirty year professional career, Jeff furthered a love for all breeds of horses through the training and pursuit of natural horsemanship and dressage, a study which has naturally evolved into Western Dressage. Bringing the west coast explosion, Western Dressage, to the east coast has been Jeff’s mission and goal since its formal creation in 2010. Now, as a Western Dressage clinician, Jeff’s goal has been to help western people learn and teach their own horses the tools that have been developed through the centuries. Jeff has bred, raised, trained and shown his Morgans for almost 35 years. His bloodline, Black Willow Morgans, was featured at the World Equestrian Games where Jeff presented his two Morgan stallions.

Western Dressage Keynote

Friday – Noon – ShowPlex Arena

The western working horse has been the backbone of our country. Helping that horse be a better riding horse through the timeless principles of dressage is my mission statement. Bringing to the horse a longer useful life, bringing to the rider the highest level of horsemanship they desire.

 

JoAnne Young

JoAnne-Young.jpgJoAnne has been teaching riding and training horses for over 40 years, and is happy that she is still learning. Every student and every horse bring fresh challenges that keep life interesting. She has been privileged and blessed beyond her wildest dreams to study with such wonderful instructors as Walter Zettl (dressage coach to Canadian event team when they won bronze at Los Angeles Olympics), Bertin Potter in Germany, Molly Sivewright (FEI judge and past chair of the Fellows of the British Horse Society), Carel Eijkenaar (FEI judge), Eddo Hoestra (FEI Trainer) and Doris Halstead (Physical Therapist and author of “Releasing the Potential: Physical Therapy Modalities for Horse and Rider.”) Jo-Anne is the author of the M.A. thesis: “Preparing students for riding instructor certification through college curricula.”

Eventing Courses

Thursday – 3:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn Roundtable Discussions

Designing and building multi-level cross country obstacles; using available materials to construct sturdy, safe cross country jumps; preserving jumps for future seasons will all be discussed.

Semi-Private Dressage Lessons

Friday – 9 a.m. – ShowPlex Arena – $$Extra Fee Required

 

Walter Zettl

Born in Czechoslovakia in 1929, Walter was trained in Germany, working for many years under the esteemed Col. Aust, for whom he eventually became First Assistant in 1955. He received many honors through the years, including the German Federation’s Gold Riding Medal, for which he was the youngest ever recipient at the age of 21. He received his Reitlehrer certification after reaching the minimum age of 25. In 1981 he moved to Canada, where he continued his lifelong pursuit of teaching horses and riders, including coaching the Canadian Olympic Three-Day Event team in dressage for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He has written many articles for German and US publications (such as USDF Connections and Dressage Today in the US, St. George Dressage magazine in Germany, etc.) and has authored 3 books: Dressage in Harmony (also published in Germany), The Circle of Trust, and the newest, Ask Walter. His teachings and insights are also available in the DVD series “A Matter of Trust”.

Welcome to New York Keynote Address

Thursday – 1 p.m. – CHA Annual Meeting – Holiday Inn

Got Kicked by My Horse

By Christy Landwehr

THE INCIDENT

It was a beautiful fall day in Colorado. The event was the second annual Trail-A-Thon benefit ride for Front Range Exceptional Equestrians. The ride was held in Lory State Park, a nearby foothills and mountain park with varied terrain. It was well planned with different trails selected for riders with disabilities, hikers, and other riders. For the safety of the riders with disabilities and their families and caregivers, trailers were parked well away from the staging area. After Judy rode, she grabbed a quick bite to eat and then took her tired horse, Sparky, back to the trailer for water and to load up for the trip home.

Judy removed Sparky’s tack by the door of the truck and tied him to the side of the trailer. Then she climbed onto the rear bumper of the truck to get his water bucket — a full 5-gallon bucket with a tight lid — out of the truck bed. As she wrestled the bucket over the tailgate and went to step down, she caught her heel in the electric cable between the truck and trailer and fell flat on her back, flinging the 40-pound bucket into Sparky’s rear end as she did so. It was a pretty good mountain lion attack simulation and Sparky responded with a kick. As she was landing hard on her back and head, he was landing a hard kick to her upper right arm. Judy saw stars for about ten minutes, having struck her head. Fortunately, she had not yet removed her helmet so was not knocked out. Surprisingly, Judy’s arm didn’t hurt immediately and she was able to water the horse, load her tack and horse, call for help, and get Sparky home and put up before being in too much distress. Judy was lucky and sustained no broken bones or a concussion, only insignificant separation of the shoulder joint.

The Analysis

There are several lessons to be learned from this mishap. Although it was a good idea to park trailers away from the foot traffic of riders with disabilities at this event, there was some risk that a horse handler could be injured while alone at the trailers. In Judy’s case, she was not visible to other participants and, had she been seriously injured, she could have been unaided for some time; this is both a personal and organizational concern. Judy could have mitigated this risk herself by asking one of her fellow riders to accompany her back to her trailer and then she could have handed the water bucket to that person.

Judy could have opened the tailgate of the truck to take the water bucket out instead of trying to dead lift it over the closed tailgate. She also could have had her water supply in the trailer’s tack box instead of in the truck bed or could have had the water in numerous smaller containers.

The fact that Judy was wearing her helmet while working with her horse on the ground was a very positive aspect of this scenario. Often, we think about putting our helmet on after we are done grooming and tacking and before we ride and then taking it off immediately after we dismount. Many youth programs have riders wear their helmets from the moment they step onto the stable grounds. This is a good idea for all ages and abilities of riders as incidents do happen on the ground around horses as well.

Editor’s Note: CHA wants to thank CHA member Judy Jaffe of Wellington, CO for her submission of this incident that we can all greatly benefit and learn from. If you have an incident that you would like to share for possible submission, please contact the Editor of The Instructor, Christy Landwehr, at clandwehr@CHA.horse .